Preferred Sample Type


Suitable Specimen Types

  • Serum
1ml blood

Specimen Transport

Usual transport to laboratory.

Sample Processing in Laboratory

Separated serum sent daily to referral laboratory via usual transport.

Sample Preparation

Centrifuge sample and separate serum.

Turnaround Time

14 days

Sample Stability

Separate sample promptly (stable at RT for several hours in whole blood). Store separated serum samples at 4ºC.


General Information

Androstenedione (also known as D4-androstenedione)is a steroid which serves as a major precursor for the androgen testosterone and oestrogens oestrone and oestrodiol. Its clinical interest derives from the fact that it is often elevated in cases of abnormal hair growth (hirsutism) and virilization. Unlike the adrenal androgens dehydroepiandrosterone and its sulphate, circulating androstenedione originates both from the adrenals and from the ovaries. The production of adrenal androstenedione is governed by ACTH, while production of gonadal androstenedione is under control by gonadotropins. Plasma levels increase steadily from about the seventh year of life. In premenopausal women the adrenal glands and ovaries each produce about half of the total androstendione (about 3 mg/day). After menopause androstenedione production is about halved, primarily due to the reduction of steroid secreted by the ovary. Androstenedione exhibits a diurnal variation, being highest in the morning, and also a cyclical variation during the menstrual cycle, being highest near mid-cycle. During pregnancy, there is an increase in the plasma level.

Patient Preparation

Collect blood 1 week before or after menstrual period.

Reference Range

 (supplied by referral laboratory):


Female (pre-menopause): 0.9-7.5 nmol/L

Female (post-menopause): 0.4-2.9 nmol/L

Male (18:40yrs): 1.1-5.6 nmol/L

Male (41-67yrs): 0.8-4.7 nmol/L


Neonates: <8.0 nmol/L

Female tanner stage 1: <1.9 nmol/L

Male tanner stage 1: <1.1 nmol/L

Elevations can be found in premature babies

Source of Reference Range

Provided by Reference Laboratory


  • EQA Scheme?: Yes
  • EQA Status: NEQAS

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The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235