BACKGROUND: Accurate and selective assessment of testosterone requires use of a sensitive LC-MS/MS method, especially at low levels as those seen in young children. METHODS: The present longitudinal study of 20 healthy children from the Copenhagen Puberty Study followed every 6 months for 5 years evaluates the longitudinal increase in serum testosterone before, during and after pubertal onset quantified by a newly developed LC-MS/MS method in comparison with immunoassay. Testosterone concentrations in serum samples (n = 177) were determined by LC-MS/MS (detection limit 0.1 nmol/l) and by immunoassay (detection limit 0.23 nmol/l). RESULTS: Serum concentrations of testosterone increased gradually with age by both methods. However, serum testosterone was quantifiable in 9/10 girls prior to pubic hair development measured with LC-MS/MS, and in 2/10 girls measured with immunoassay. In boys, testosterone was quantifiable in 10/10 boys 1 year prior to pubic hair development measured with LC-MS/MS, and only in 1/10 boys measured with immunoassay. Serum testosterone levels were quantifiable 1.5 years (range 0.5-2.5) earlier using LC-MS/MS. CONCLUSION: Assessment of longitudinal circulating levels of serum testosterone using a selective LC-MS/MS method proved to be more sensitive in predicting early peripubertal changes in healthy children compared to levels determined by immunoassay.
Hormone Research in Paediatrics, 2014, Vol 82, Issue 1, p. 12-17
Adolescent; Aging; Child; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Humans; Male; Mass Spectrometry; Puberty; Radioimmunoassay; Sex Characteristics; Testosterone; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't