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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Saliva test or blood work is more reliable?

Answered by
Dr. Kulsoom Qureshi


Practicing since :1997

Answered : 1037 Questions

Posted on Tue, 3 Dec 2013 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Question: Hi, can you tell me if saliva test are reliable or is blood work more reliable? I had both done and blood showed by testosterone to be 8 ng and saliva showed it to be 103! That's a huge difference! I'm a 44 year old female and had a total hysterectomy 5 months ago.
Answered by Dr. Kulsoom Qureshi 2 hours later
Brief Answer: In females blood work is more reliable Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Thanks for consulting us. There could be a number of reasons for this huge difference. Number one: both values may possibly be in different "units". That is, Testosterone levels can be measured in three different units e.g. ng/dl, pmol/L & nmol/L. So, both values may be in different units. So, cannot be compared unless a unit convertor is used. This can explain this huge apparent difference. Second possibility: could be "sampling at different days & times", as there is known variation with times of the day. Third possibility: is a "sampling error", which is very common with saliva testing. Forth possibility: is a known lack of sensitivity associated with saliva testing in females as they have low levels of the hormone. So, better to trust on your blood report, or you may repeat blood testing at a later date to further confirm your levels. Hope this solves your problem. Please write back if you have any question. Best regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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