SERUM AND SALIVARY TESTOSTERONE IN PREMENOPAUSAL WOMEN WITH SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS
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The present study was done to measure serum and salivary testosterone in premenopausal female patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) to evaluate androgen metabolism in these patients. This study included 28 SLE patients. their ages ranged between 21-42 years with a mean value of 29 + 5.1 years and their disease duration was ranged between 1 - 10 years with a mean value of 5.5±1.5 years. SLE patients were divided into two groups treated and untreated each included 14 patients. Patients in the treated group were receiving prednisone in a dose ranged between 10 and 25 mg/day and patients in untreated group were not received corticosteroid. Fifteen (15) healthy subjects were chosen as control group. their ages ranged between 23-45 years with a mean value of 31.1 + 6.4 years. Total and free testosterone were measured in serum and saliva of the patients and controls by radioirnmumoassay. There was signif icant decrease in total and free testosterone in serum and saliva of SLE patients as compared with control group. There was also signyicant decrease in total and free testosterone in serum and saliva of treated patients compared with control group. but there were non-significant changes in total and free testosterone in serum and saliva of patients not received corticosteroid compared with control group. There was highly positive significant correlation between total and free salivary testosterone with total and free serum testosterone in SLE patients. 79.2% of testosterone in human saliva was in free form. So we concluded that salivary testosterone represents the circulating free serum testoste-rone and measurement of testosterone in saliva may provide a simple and reliable way of determining testosterone levels in SLE patients.