Units for testosterone measurement

Guidelines [3] state testosterone values in ng/dl only and some countries still use old values (for example US, Germany, Belgium), but in many countries laboratory results only in SI units - International System of Units - (nmol/l) - are available (for example Slovenia). Some articles, to further confusion, use other combinations, like ng/ml or mg/dl. To allow easier reference to practicing physicians, in Table 3, some typical serum testosterone values are presented in different units.

Conversion factors: as molecular formula of testosterone is C19H28O2, molecular mass of testosterone is 288.42 g/mol. Therefore, if value in ng/dl is available, multiply it with 0.0347 nmol/l / ng/dl to get value in nmol/l. If value in nmol/l is available and one needs ng/dl, value in nmol/l should be multiplied by 28.8 ng/dl / nmol/l to get ng/dl. 1 ng/ml (or microg/l) = 100 ng/dl.

Clinical meaning

value

normal morning value for males, above

12 nmol/l (= 346 ng/dl =

= 3.46 ng/ml)

advised supplementation for healthy males, regardless of symptoms, below

8 nmol/l (= 231 ng/dl =

2.31 ng/ml)

"old" castration value

1.73 nmol/l (= 50 ng/dl

= 0.5 ng/ml)

median value for premenopausal females

1.39 nmol/l (= 40 ng/dl

= 0.4 ng/ml)

"Morote's" value

1.11 nmol/l (= 32 ng/dl

= 0.32 ng/ml)

"new" castration value

0.69 nmol/l (= 20 ng/dl

= 0.2 ng/ml)

Table 3. Typical serum testosterone values in different units. "Morote's" value represents level of serum testosterone, determined with direct chemiluminescent immuno assay in prostate cancer patients on hormonal treatment, above which shorter time to progression was observed compared to patients with testosterone values below this level [9]. For curiosity, median value for premenopausal females can also be used as guideline for supplementation in hypoactive sexual desire disorder [30].

Table 3. Typical serum testosterone values in different units. "Morote's" value represents level of serum testosterone, determined with direct chemiluminescent immuno assay in prostate cancer patients on hormonal treatment, above which shorter time to progression was observed compared to patients with testosterone values below this level [9]. For curiosity, median value for premenopausal females can also be used as guideline for supplementation in hypoactive sexual desire disorder [30].

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