Background: Testosterone assays are widely used. However, deficiencies in these assays limit their broad and effective implementation and threaten the health of those patients whose medical care relies upon its accurate measurement. Furthermore, the translation of research findings into information useful for patient care, such as new evidence-based clinical guidelines, is not possible unless both research and clinical assays are held to higher standards than are currently required. A group of concerned stakeholders was convened to address this problem.
Methods: Representatives of multiple professional societies, government, and industry, having a stake in ensuring that testosterone levels are measured accurately and reliably, met to identify goals, objectives, and actions necessary to bring about the standardization of assays for testosterone.
Results: To ensure highly accurate testosterone testing that will result in improved diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease through the use of standardized assays, a series of recommendations were agreed upon. The recommendations included the following: technical improvements for assay standardization; education of health care providers, patients, and all others concerned with testosterone testing; plans to encourage all concerned journals, government agencies, and health insurance companies to support this effort; and encouragement to manufacturers to develop better and more cost effective assays.
Conclusion: A preliminary timeline was set out to implement the recommendations of the Group.