In the Journals

Estrogen testing accuracy improvements recommended

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June 13, 2015

New recommendations were recently released that call for accurate, standardized estrogen testing methods to help improve patient care, according to a statement published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The recommendations arose from a workshop on measuring estrogen exposure and metabolism sponsored by the Endocrine Society, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry and the Partnership for Accurate Testing of Hormones (PATH).

“Accurate data on patients’ estrogen levels are needed to ensure appropriate and effective patient care, reduce the need for retesting and enable clinicians to implement the latest research in patient care,” Hubert Vesper, PhD, of the PATH Steering Committee, said in a press release. “Research studies, however, have found high inaccuracies among different estrogen tests, especially when the test is measuring low estrogen levels in postmenopausal women, men and children.”

The panel recommends standardization and harmonization to effectively determine measurement methods for estrogen and their metabolites and a study to determine method validation. It also suggests that journals require statements on accuracy assessment for estrogen and estrogen metabolite assays and that the Standard of Reporting Diagnostic Accuracy criteria be updated to reflect data on an assay’s accuracy.

The panel added that immunoassays and mass spectromy-based assays are appropriate when accurate and reliable.

Disclosure: Vesper reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.