Estrogens (Total), Serum


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Subject: Estrogens (Total), Serum

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  • Estrogens are involved in development and maintenance of the female phenotype, germ cell maturation, and pregnancy. They also are important for many other, non–gender-specific processes, including growth, nervous system maturation, bone metabolism/remodeling, and endothelial responsiveness. The two major biologically active estrogens in nonpregnant humans are estrone (E1) and estradiol (E2). A third bioactive estrogen, estriol (E3), is the main pregnancy estrogen but plays no significant role in nonpregnant women or men.

  • Normal range: see Table 16.31.

TABLE 16–31
Normal Ranges of Estrogens


  • Overall status of estrogens in females or males

  • Must be interpreted according to phase of the menstrual cycle


Increased In

  • Estrogen-producing tumors (e.g., granulosa cell tumor, theca-cell tumor, luteoma), secondary to stimulation by hCG-producing tumors (e.g., teratoma, teratocarcinoma)

  • Pregnancy

  • Gynecomastia

Decreased In

  • Ovarian failure

  • Primary hypofunction of the ovary:

    • Autoimmune oophoritis is the most common cause; usually associated with other autoimmune endocrinopathies (e.g., Hashimoto thyroiditis, Addison disease, type 1 DM); may cause premature menopause

    • Resistant ovary syndrome

    • Toxic (e.g., irradiation, chemotherapy)

    • Infection (e.g., mumps)

    • Tumor (primary or secondary)

    • Mechanical (e.g., trauma, torsion, surgical excision)

    • Genetic (e.g., Turner syndrome)

    • Menopause

  • Secondary hypofunction of the ovary: disorders of the hypothalamic–pituitary axis