Plasma free testosterone--is an index sufficient?

Ann Clin Biochem. 1985 Jul;22 ( Pt 4):387-90. doi: 10.1177/000456328502200410.


Only about 50% of women who are clinically hirsute have a raised total plasma testosterone concentration; in those cases where the total testosterone is normal the free testosterone may, in fact, be raised. Since the measurement of free testosterone is tedious, workers have used an androgen index or a calculated free testosterone concentration from the measurements of total testosterone and sex-hormone-binding globulin. We have examined the correlation between measured free testosterone, a derived free testosterone and an androgen index in hirsute women, normally menstruating women and non-hirsute women on oral contraceptive therapy. These three measures of the free testosterone concentration in blood gave similar results in all cases.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Female
  • Hirsutism / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / metabolism
  • Testosterone / blood*


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