Alternative Names
  • Follicle-stimulating Hormone
  • follitropin
  • Pituitary Gonadotropin

Test Code: 4004

CPT: 83001
Tests Included FSH
Use Used to conjuction with LH, Testosterone, Estradiol, and Progesterone to help identify the cause of infertility, dysfunctions of ovaries/testicles, and aid in the diagnosis of pituitary or hypothalamus disorders.

In the female, FSH stimulates follicular growth and, in conjunction with LH, stimulates estrogen secretion and ovulation. Following ovulation, FSH and LH are believed to be responsible for the transformation of the ruptured follicle into a corpus luteum and to influence the secretion of progesterone by the luteal cells.1 In the male, FSH stimulates spermatogenesis through receptors on the Sertoli cells which are present in the seminiferous tubules of the testes.

hLH and hFSH levels are commonly determined in investigations of menstrual, fertility, and pubertal developmental disorders such as premature ovarian failure, menopause, ovulatory disorders and pituitary failure.2
Clinical Utility While both LH and FSH are required for normal maturation of spermatozoa, FSH is less sensitive to feedback inhibition by testosterone. Human FSH is thought to be regulated in part by the peptide inhibin which is produced by the Sertoli cells in males and by granulosa cells in females. Low levels of LH and FSH may indicate pituitary failure while elevated LH and FSH levels along with decreased levels of gonadal steroids may indicate gonadal failure (menopause, ovariectomy, premature ovarian syndrome, Turner's Syndrome). Low gonadotropin levels are usually observed in females taking oral steroid-based contraceptives. In the male, elevated FSH and LH with low levels of gonadal steroids may indicate testicular failure or anorchia. In Klinefelter's syndrome FSH may be elevated due to Sertoli cell failure.
Intended Patient Population 18+ and Older Adult Males & Females
Patient Preparation None Specified
Sample Serum, Plasma
Tube Red, Green, Tiger
Volume 4mL Whole Blood (1mL Serum/Plasma)
Min Sample Volume 0.5 mLs
Reference Ranges M ≥ 18 yrs old; 1.3-19.3 mIU/mL
F  Mid-Follicular ≥ 18 yrs old; 3.9-8.8 mIU/mL
F  Mid-Cycle Peak ≥ 18 yrs old; 4.5-22.5 mIU/mL
F  Mid-Luteal ≥ 18 yrs old; 1.8-5.1 mIU/mL
F  Post-Menopausal ≥ 18 yrs old; 16.7-113.6 mIU/mL
Analytical Measurement Range 0.2-200.0 mIU/mL
Units mIU/mL
Test Methodology Chemiluminescent Immunoassay
Test Turnaround Time 7 Days
Limitations None Specified
Shipping Requirements Refrigerated
Specimen Stability 7 Days RT
7 Days RF
Reject Criteria Gross Lipemia
Laboratory Developed Test (LDT) Yes
CMS Guidance None
  1. Adashi EY. The ovarian life cycle. In Reproductive Endocrinology. Edited by Yen SSC and Jaffe RB. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co., 1992; 22: 1-28.
  2. Carr BR. Disorders of the ovary and female reproductive tract. In Williams Textbook  of Endocrinology, 8th ed. Edited by Wilson JD and Foster DW. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co., 1992; 733-798.
  3. Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR. Williams textbook of endocrinology, 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier, 2008; 542.

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