Evaluation of a New Automated Electrochemiluminescent Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin (SHBG) Immunoassay

Clin Chem Lab Med. 2005;43(1):86-9. doi: 10.1515/CCLM.2005.013.


Serum sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) regulates the cellular bioavailability of SHBG-bound steroid hormones. Since variations in SHBG levels may affect the concentration of free, i.e., biologically active testosterone in serum, SHBG levels are commonly measured as a supplement to total testosterone determination. The recently developed electrochemiluminescence Elecsys SHBG immunoassay was evaluated analytically on a Modular E170 (Roche Diagnostics, Mannheim, Germany) immunoanalyzer. Major differences in SHBG concentrations have been described among the commercially available methods; we therefore compared the new method with an established SHBG immunoradiometric assay (IRMA) in 99 routine serum samples. To provide reference values to clinicians, SHBG concentration was measured by Elecsys in 304 serum samples from healthy volunteers and several relevant clinical subgroups. The within-run and total imprecision coefficients of variation were </=2.9% and </=3.3%, respectively. Functional sensitivity was at least 0.74 nmol/L. Recoveries after dilution of high-concentration samples in low-titer human serum or in assay diluent were within the range of 85-110%. The Elecsys SHBG assay correlated well (r=0.98) with the SHBG immunoradiometric assay, but values were higher for the Elecsys assay (Passing Bablok regression analysis: slope 1.14, intercept +2.5). In healthy subjects and clinical subgroups, we confirmed the differences in SHBG values reported in the literature. The Elecsys SHBG immunoassay provides precision and reliability in combination with reduced turnaround time.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal / blood
  • Electrochemistry
  • Female
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Humans
  • Hyperthyroidism / blood
  • Hypothyroidism / blood
  • Immunoassay / instrumentation
  • Immunoassay / methods
  • Immunoassay / statistics & numerical data
  • Luminescent Measurements / instrumentation
  • Luminescent Measurements / methods*
  • Luminescent Measurements / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Radioimmunoassay / statistics & numerical data
  • Regression Analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sex Factors
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / analysis*


  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin