Determination of free progesterone in an ultrafiltrate of saliva collected in situ
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We have investigated the utility of an ultrafiltrate of saliva for measuring progesterone as an indicator of luteal function during the menstrual cycle of women. A filtrate of saliva is collected in the mouth by means of an osmotic pump that accumulates medium containing only molecules less than 12,000 Da. We analyzed the nonextracted ultrafiltrate by a solid-phase immunoassay for progesterone and monitored the mid-luteal surge of lutropin in urine with a liquid-phase radioimmunoassay. Progesterone concentrations in the ultrafiltrate are significantly lower during the follicular phase and increase after the release of lutropin. The concentration of progesterone in the ultrafiltrate correlates closely with total progesterone in matched blood samples (r = 0.84, cycle 1; and r = 0.89, cycle 2). Likewise, we found a good correlation between the results in whole saliva and in the ultrafiltrate (r = 0.95). The described method of obtaining a pre- processed specimen noninvasively simplifies the self-collection of samples by patients (including collection at home); excludes potential interference from microorganisms, desquamated cells, and salivary components; and simplifies the processing of the biological fluid in the laboratory.
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