Alpha Subunit
Label Mnemonic: APGH
Epic code: LAB2562
Downtime form: A-1a Doctor/Provider Orders - Pathology Core and Specialty Care Nursery
Commercial Mail-out Laboratory
5231 RCP
Collection Medium:
Red top tube 5 mL (Clot Activator)
1 mL serum in red top tube
Turn Around Time:
7 working days upon receipt at reference laboratory
Reference Range:
< or =5 days: < or =50 ng/mL
6 days-12 weeks: < or =10 ng/mL
3 months-17 years: < or =1.2 ng/mL
Tanner II-IV*: < or =1.2 ng/mL

Males: < or =0.5 ng/mL
Premenopausal females: < or =1.2 ng/mL
Postmenopausal females: < or =1.8 ng/mL

*Puberty onset (transition from Tanner stage I to Tanner stage II) occurs for boys at a median age of 11.5 (+/-2) years and for girls at a median age of 10.5 (+/-2) years. There is evidence that it may occur up to 1 year earlier in obese girls and in African American girls. For boys, there is no proven relationship between puberty onset and body weight or ethnic origin. Progression through Tanner stages is variable. Tanner stage V (adult) should be reached by age 18.
Useful For:
Adjunct in the diagnosis of pituitary tumors
As part of the follow-up of treated pituitary tumor patients
Differential diagnosis of thyrotropin-secreting pituitary tumor versus thyroid hormone resistance
Differential diagnosis of constitutional delay of puberty versus hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism

False-positive elevations in serum free alpha-subunit levels may be seen in some women if blood specimens are drawn within 24 hours of ovulation.

Patients with end-stage renal failure may have serum free alpha-subunit concentrations of up to 6-times the upper limit of reference range.

Elevated alpha-subunit results on patients with elevated thyrotropin (TSH) should be interpreted with caution due to TSH cross-reactivity with the assay.

Assisted reproduction involving ovarian hyperstimulation or in vitro fertilization may be associated with the elevation in serum free alpha- subunit levels.

Pregnancy is associated with very substantial, physiological elevations in serum free alpha-subunit levels, paralleling chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) secretion. This test should not be ordered on pregnant patients.

Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) testing are not performed in the laboratory, but in specialized clinical testing units under the supervision of a physician.

This mailout test requires pathologist approval for orders during inpatient encounters. Mailouts staff will not process order without approval. The pathologist covering mailouts approval can be reached at pager #5379. If approval is given, the name of the pathologist can be selected in the drop-down menu to the right of the approval warning in Epic when ordering the test.
Immunochemiluminescent Assay
CPT Code: