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SHBG (Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin)

Analyte: Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

Specimen Type: Serum

Optimum Volume: 0.5 mL


2-8°C -20°C -70°C
1 week 2 months 3 years

Reporting units: nmol/L

Method: Chemiluminescense

Biological or Clinical Significance:

Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is the blood transport protein for testosterone and estradiol. It is a large glycoprotein with a molecular weight of about 95 kD.

Testosterone circulates primarily protein-bound, principally to SHBG, but also to albumin and cortisol-binding globulin. SHBG levels are commonly measured as a supplement to total testosterone determinations. Decreased SHBG levels are often found in hirsutism, acne vulgaris and the polycystic ovary syndrome.

SHBG levels may be modestly reduced in hypothyroidism, acromegaly, Cushing's disease and hyperprolactinemia. SHBG also tends to be suppressed in obesity and after the administration of androgens or drugs which compete with androgens for binding sites on SHBG.

Elevated SHBG may be encountered in hyperthyroidism, hepatic cirrhosis and pregnancy.

Principle of Test Method:

The SHBG assay is an automated sandwich immunoassay using chemiluminescent detection.


1. Sinnecker G. Stability of sex hormone-binding globulin in serum and plasma. Clin Chem. 1989; 35:1253-1254.
2. Kalme T, Seppälä, M, Qiao Q, Koistinen R, Nissinen A, Harrela M, Loukovaara, Leinonen P, Tuomilehto J. Sex hormone-binding globulin and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-1 as indicators of metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular risk, and mortality in elderly men. J Clin Endo Metabol. 2005; 90:1550-1556.
3. Comstock GW, Burke AE, Norkus EP, Gordon GB, Hoffman SC, Helzlsower KJ. Effects of repeated freeze-thaw cycles on concentrations of cholesterol, micronutrients, and hormones in human plasma and serum. Clin Chem 2001; 47:139-142.

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