DIAGNOSIS OF ENDOCRINE DISEASE: Steroid Hormone Analysis in Diagnosis and Treatment of DSD Position Paper of EU COST Action BM 1303 "DSDnet".

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Kulle, A. ; Krone, N. ; Holterhus, P.M. ; Schuler, G. ; Greaves, R. ; Juul, A. ; de Rijke, Y. ; Hartmann, M. ; Saba, A. ; Hiort, O. ; Wudy, S.
  • Publisher: BioScientifica

Disorders or differences in sex development (DSD) comprise a heterogeneous group of conditions with an atypical sex development. For optimal diagnosis highly specialized laboratory analyses are required across European countries. Working group 3 of EU COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action BM 1303 "DSDnet" "Harmonisation of Laboratory Assessment" has developed recommendations on laboratory assessment for DSD regarding the use of technologies and analytes to be investigated. This position paper on steroid hormone analysis in diagnosis and treatment of DSD was compiled by a group of specialists in DSD and/or hormonal analysis, either from participating European Countries or international partner countries. The topics discussed comprised analytical methods (immunoassay/mass spectrometry based methods), matrices (urine/serum/saliva) and harmonisation of laboratory tests. The following positions were agreed upon: Support of the appropriate use of immunoassay and mass spectrometry based methods for diagnosis and monitoring of DSD. Serum/plasma and urine are established matrices for analysis. Laboratories performing analyses for DSD need to operate within a quality framework and actively engage in harmonisation processes so that results and their interpretation are the same irrespective of the laboratory they are performed in. Participation in activities of peer comparison such as sample exchange or when available subscribing to a relevant external quality assurance program should be achieved. The ultimate aim of the guidelines is the implementation of clinical standards for diagnosis and appropriate treatment of DSD to achieve the best outcome for patients, no matter where patients are investigated or managed.
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