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About the test
What is this test done for?
DHEA stands for dehydroepiandrosterone, a male hormone produced by adrenal glands. This test is used to measure the DHEA levels in the blood.
Why is it Done?

It is done in males along with other hormone tests like testosterone to:

  • Evaluate the functioning of the adrenal gland.
  • Help diagnose the tumors in the outer layer of adrenal gland and adrenal cancers
  • Help diagnose a condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

In females, it is done with the other hormone tests like FSH, LH, prolactin, estrogen to help diagnose a condition called Polycystic ovarian syndrome and to help rule out other causes of infertility, amenorrhea.

When should it be performed?

To evaluate the person’s adrenal gland’s function, it is done when the following signs and symptoms are seen in women:

  • Deeper voice
  • Excess body or facial hair
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Muscularity
  • Acne
  • Enlargement of Adam’s apple
  • Decreased breast size

In boys, it is done when they show signs of precocious puberty, development of deeper voice, pubic hair, muscularity and enlarged penis well before the age of puberty.

How is it done
A blood sample will be collected from a vein in your arm. For doing the tests, it fasting is not necessary prior to sample collection.

The normal values are:

Typical normal ranges for females are:

  • Ages 18 to 19: 145 to 395 mg/dL
  • Ages 20 to 29: 65 to 380 µg/dL
  • Ages 30 to 39: 45 to 270 µg/dL
  • Ages 40 to 49: 32 to 240 µg/dL
  • Ages 50 to 59: 26 to 200 µg/dL
  • Ages 60 to 69: 13 to 130 µg/dL
  • Ages 69 and older: 17 to 90 µg/dL

Typical normal ranges for males are:

  • Ages 18 to 19: 108 to 441 µg/dL
  • Ages 20 to 29: 280 to 640 µg/dL
  • Ages 30 to 39: 120 to 520 µg/dL
  • Ages 40 to 49: 95 to 530 µg/dL
  • Ages 50 to 59: 70 to 310 µg/dL
  • Ages 60 to 69: 42 to 290 µg/dL
  • Ages 69 and older: 28 to 175 µg/dL

High DHEA levels along with other tests may indicate adrenocortical tumor, Cushing disease, adrenal cancer, PCOS.

Low levels may be due to adrenal insufficiency, adrenal dysfunction, Addison’s disease, hypopituitarisim.

Other Tests
Testosterone, FSH,LH, estrogen, ACTH are the other hormone tests done to confirm diagnosis.
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