Off-campus Eastern Washington University users: To download EWU Only theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your EWU NetID and password.

Non-EWU users: Please talk to your local librarian about requesting this thesis through Interlibrary loan.

Date of Award

Winter 1976


Access perpetually restricted to EWU users with an active EWU NetID

Document Type

Thesis: EWU Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Chemistry


Chemistry and Biochemistry


Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a 17-ketosteroid which is produced by the adrenal cortex and is excreted in the urine as DHEAsulfate, In diseases of the adrenal cortex, such as adrenal carcinoma or adrenal hyperactivity, the level of DHEA-sulfate in the urine is increased. There are two standard methods currently in use in the clinical laboratory to determine adrenal function. The first is to determine the total ketosteroid concentration in the urine by a colorimetric procedure. The second is to separate the various ketosteroid fractions by gas-liquid chromatography (GLC). It is the purpose of this thesis to develop a third methodology for the determination of DHEA in the urine. This new methodology is based on the principle of radioimmunoas say (RIA), and depends on the reaction between 3H-DHEA antigen, DHEA antigen preseri.t i.n the urine, and an antibody specific for DHEA. Sixty urine samples were tested for total ketosteroid concentration by the colorimetric procedure and by the RIA procedure. In order to confirm the data from the RIA procedure, eleven urine samples were analyzed on the gas chromatograph . The results of the RIA procedure closely correlated with the results of the GLC. However, there was little correlation behveen the colorimetric and RIA procedures. In several instances, the colorimetric results indicated a normal level of adrenal cortical function, but the RIA and GLC results indicated an increased level of adrenal cortical function.