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Plasma and Urinary Luteinizing Hormone Levels in the Diagnosis of Endocrine Disease

Br Med J 1972; 1 doi: (Published 25 March 1972) Cite this as: Br Med J 1972;1:775

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. R. Wikramanayake,
  2. J. R. Keenan,
  3. G. S. Spathis,
  4. J. D. N. Nabarro,
  5. P. J. Leonard,
  6. M. J. Gallagher


    The diagnostic value of measurements of plasma and urinary luteinizing hormone (LH) has been studied in 209 patients with endocrine disease. In 44 patients puberty was either delayed or had failed to occur. In those with chromosomal abnormalities the LH levels were often within the normal range, whereas those with a pituitary cause usually had low levels. In boys with delayed puberty plasma LH levels rose before physical changes occurred and had prognostic value. In patients with later gonadal failure, men with impotence or infertility, and women with secondary amenorrhoea LH assays proved of little value, although in one case a premature menopause was suspected and six patients with anorexia nervosa had low LH levels.

    Sixty patients with disorders of the hypothalamicpituitary area were studied. Levels of LH were measured and considered in relation to the other anterior pituitary hormones. Impairment of LH secretion was one of the first effects on hormone production of disease affecting this area, and this was, of course, most readily detected in postmenopausal women.

    The normal ranges of both plasma and urine LH are wide and there seems to be considerable day-to-day variation, especially of urinary output. Several samples should, therefore, be measured if therapeutic decisions are involved.