Estradiol levels in prepubertal boys and girls--analytical challenges

54 Citations (Scopus)


Increasing evidence points at an important function of low concentrations of estradiol (E2) in prepubertal boys and girls. E2 serum levels in prepubertal children are, however, often immeasurable in conventional E2 assays. This strongly hampers further investigation of the physiological relevance of E2 in children. In addition, there is an increasing concern of the potential effect of exposure to endocrine disrupters with estrogenic or antiandrogenic activity on pubertal development. A requirement of assessing the instance for this concern, adds further to the demands for applicable methodologies for the evaluation of the sensitivity of the organism to low E2 concentrations. Traditionally, E2 is measured by use of the radioimmunoassay (RIA). As an ultrasensitive alternative to the RIA, a recombinant cell bioassay has been developed. In this review, methodological aspects for these methods of analysis are examined and their applicability for evaluation of low E2 serum concentrations in children is estimated. Furthermore, available data on E2 levels in prepubertal boys and girls are evaluated and discussed, taking into consideration the limitations of the methods of analysis. In conclusion, there is a pronounced demand for new and improved methods of analysis for accurate and sensitive evaluation of low concentrations of E2.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Andrology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)266-73
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004


  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Estradiol
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Puberty
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


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