- Author: Edward Charbek, MD; Chief Editor: Thomas M Wheeler, MD more...
The reference range for luteinizing hormone (LH) is as follows:
Prepubertal: 0.3-6.0 mIU/mL
Adult: 1.8-12.0 mIU/L
Prepubertal: 0-4.0 mIU/mL
Pubertal: 0.3-31.0 mIU/mL
- Follicular: 1-18 mIU/dL
- Mid-cycle: 20-105 mIU/mL
- Luteal: 0.4-20.0 mIU/mL
Postmenopausal: 15.0-62.0 mIU/mL
Conditions associated with increased LH
See the list below:
Conditions associated with decreased LH
Hypothalamic causes are as follows:
- Isolated idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (GnRH deficiency)
Pituitary causes are as follows:
- Mass lesions (eg, pituitary adenomas, cysts, metastatic disease)
- Hypothalamic/pituitary surgery or radiation
- Primary hypothyroidism
Luteal phase dysfunction is another condition associated with decreased LH.
Collection and Panels
Specifics for collection and panels are as follows:
- Specimen type: Blood serum
- Container: Vacutainer, red/black top
- Collection method: Venipuncture
- Specimen volume: 0.6 mL
Related tests are as follows:
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
- Total estrogens
Luteinizing hormone (LH) is a glycoprotein gonadotropin secreted by the anterior pituitary in response to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which is released by the hypothalamus. The same pituitary cells also secrete FSH, another gonadotropin.
LH and FSH are composed of alpha and beta subunits. The alpha subunit is similar in LH, FSH, TSH, and HCG, while the beta subunits differs among the hormones. The specific beta subunit confers the unique biologic activity. LH and FSH bind to receptors in the testis and ovary and regulate gonadal function by promoting sex steroid production and gametogenesis. Both are essential for reproduction in males and females.
LH and FSH play central roles in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, and, thus, conditions related to LH and FSH deficiency can be caused by pathology of either the hypothalamus or pituitary. The two are frequently measured together, along with other hormones. Careful analysis of the presenting problem, the patient’s overall health, and the hormonal profile is often necessary to determine the cause of LH abnormality and, thus, the most appropriate treatment.[4, 5, 6, 7]
Indications for testing of LH include the following:
- Evaluating menstrual irregularities (including anovulatory bleeding)
- Evaluating suspected hypogonadism
- Evaluating precocious puberty
- Predicting ovulation
- Evaluating infertility
- Evaluating pituitary disorders
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