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Endocrine Society Urges Better Standards for Estradiol Testing

Endocrine Society Urges Better Standards for Estradiol Testing

Current methods need to evolve to meet patients' needs more fully, statement says

THURSDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- A new position statement published by The Endocrine Society recommends that estradiol measurement assays and reference ranges be standardized and that the health care community work toward improving the accessibility of accurate estradiol testing methods; the position statement was published online March 5 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

William Rosner, M.D., of Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues, on behalf of The Endocrine Society, evaluated the current state of clinical assays for estradiol by conducting a systematic literature review and incorporating the clinical and laboratory experience of experts.

According to the authors, many physicians, researchers, and laboratory staff may be unaware that currently available estradiol assays are unable to detect the low estradiol levels found in men, children, menopausal women, or breast cancer patients taking drugs that decrease estradiol levels. Additionally, the lack of standardization among estradiol levels makes it difficult to compare data from different studies or to extrapolate results to the broader general population. Finally, standard reference ranges need to be implemented that are specific for patient age, gender, and reproductive stage.

"Estradiol levels need to be accurately, precisely, and consistently measured to provide the proper care for patients from the cradle to the grave," the authors write. "Health care providers rely on estradiol testing to diagnose and help treat a variety of conditions, including infertility, osteoporosis and breast cancer. Current testing methods need to evolve to meet patients' needs."

Abstract (http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/early/2013/03/05/jc.2012-3780.abstract )Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/early/2013/03/05/jc.2012-3780.full.pdf+html )