Dried Blood Spot Testing

This is a minimally-invasive home test kit.

Other Tests in Dried Blood Spot

In addition to the sex hormones (estradiol, progesterone, DHEA-S, and testosterone), dried blood spot testing is also offered for: morning cortisol, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), prostate-specific antigen (PSA), LH, FSH, vitamin D, IGF-1, thyroid testing (TSH, free T3, free T4, total T4, TPO antibodies, and thyroglobulin), cardiometabolic risk markers (fasting insulin, hs-CRP, HbA1c, triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and VLDL cholesterol), and toxic and nutritional elements (cadmium, mercury, lead, zinc, copper, selenium, and magnesium).

Sample Collection

Collection of the blood spots is a relatively simple and nearly painless procedure that can be done at home. A simple nick of the finger followed by placing blood drops on a filter card is all that is needed. The kit contains easy step-by- step instructions, skin cleansing wipes, two lancets, a filter paper on which the blood drops are collected, and a band-aid. The dry blood spot sample requires no special handling and is returned, together with a requisition form completed by the patient indicating any current hormone therapy and symptoms, to the laboratory for analysis in a pre-paid return package. Blood spot samples are collected in the morning before eating or drinking. Topical hormone users should use their hormones daily as usual but avoid applying the hormones with the hands for several days prior to collection.

Advantages

  • Convenient for both patient and health care practitioner
  • No phlebotomist, special preparation such as centrifugation of the blood, or special packaging and shipment required, therefore less expensive and more convenient than conventional blood draws
  • Simple and convenient collection of blood at home allows for flexibility of testing at the right time of day or month or following hormone therapy
  • Hormones and other analytes stable in dried blood spot at room temperature for weeks, allowingfor greater latitude in collection and shipping
  • Infectious agents such as HIV are inactivated by drying the blood thus allowing for safer transport and lab testing of the blood sample
  • Familiarity of hormone test levels: ranges for hormones in dried blood spot nearly identical to ranges for conventional serum tests
  • Levels of elements in dried blood spot correspond to those seen in whole blood tests

Clinical Utility

Dried blood spot testing can help providers:

  • Identify hormonal deficiencies or imbalances associated with aging and disease,thyroid dysfunction and symptoms of menopause and andropause 
  • Link clinical symptoms to specific hormone imbalances identified by the test
  • Restore hormonal balance and patient quality of life using test results as a rational basis for treatment
  • Monitor patient hormone levels for individualized, physiologic dosing of hormone supplementation
  • Track patient progress with comparative history reports provided with follow-up testing