Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin

AsseyMethod: ECL
Abbrevation: SHBG
Sector: Hormone 1
SampleType: S
S.Vol: -
Transport: at 2-8˚c, -20˚c
Storage: 2 days at 2-8˚c for longer time at -20˚c
Test Name: Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
Normal Range: Male:15-100 Female:15-120

This test is related to
Why get tested?

To evaluate whether the concentration of SHBG is affecting the amount of testosterone available to the body’s tissues.

When to get tested?

When your total testosterone results do not fit well with clinical signs and suggest deficient or excessive testosterone production.

Sample required?

A blood sample taken from a vein in your arm

Test preparation needed?


What is being tested?

The Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) test measures the amount of SHBG in the blood. SHBG is a protein that is produced by the liver. SHBG binds tightly to the hormones testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and oestradiol (an oestrogen) and transports them in the blood in an inactive form. The amount of SHBG in the circulation is affected by age and sex, by decreased or increased testosterone or oestrogen production. It is also affected by certain diseases and conditions such as liver disease, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, by obesity, and by anticonvulsant drugs like phenytoin and phenobarbitone.

Changes in SHBG can affect the amount of testosterone that is available to be used by the body. Normally, about 45% of testosterone in men and about 70% in women, is tightly bound to SHBG, and most of the rest is weakly and reversibly bound to another protein, albumin. Only about 1-3% is not bound and immediately available to the tissues as free testosterone.

A total testosterone test does not distinguish between bound and free testosterone; it measures the overall quantity of testosterone. In many cases, this measurement is sufficient to discover excessive or deficient testosterone production; but, if a patient’s SHBG level is not normal, then the total testosterone may be misleading.

How is the sample collected for testing?

A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm.

Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?

No test preparation is needed.