The effects of heat treatment of serum samples on the hormone analyses used in this laboratory were studied. Total T4, testosterone, progesterone, and growth hormone were not systematically affected by heat treatment over the whole range of analyte concentrations studied; for thyroid stimulating hormone, no effect was noted on serum samples with concentrations of less than 10 mU/l. Significant changes occurred in total T3, cortisol, follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and prolactin. It is suggested that with appropriate preliminary study, heat treated plasma samples may be used in endocrinological investigations without adversely affecting the diagnostic validity of the results.
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