Research Blog

September 21, 2023

Hormone Biomarkers: Luteinizing Hormone in Men

Optimal Takeaways

Luteinizing hormone (LH) is a glycoprotein produced in the anterior pituitary, playing a vital role in the maturation of primordial germ cells and the regulation of the ovaries and testes.

In men, luteinizing hormone affects the testes and the production and regulation of testosterone. Low levels may be caused by malnutrition, stress, or pituitary or hypothalamus failure. Levels can increase with pituitary adenoma, hypogonadism, testicular disorders, cardiovascular disease, and traumatic brain injury.

Standard Range: 1.5 - 9.3 mIU/mL

The ODX Range: 1.5 – 6.15 mIU/mL

Low levels of luteinizing hormone may be caused by stress, malnutrition, anorexia nervosa, or failure of the pituitary or hypothalamus glands. Decreased levels may be caused by medications such as testosterone, phenothiazines, and digoxin (Pagana 2021).

High levels of luteinizing hormone may be seen in pituitary adenoma, hypogonadism, castration, anorchia, testicular dysfunction, and testicular feminization syndrome. Anticonvulsants, clomiphene, naloxone, and spironolactone may cause increased LH. Levels may be falsely elevated with hypothyroidism and hCG-producing tumors (Pagana 2021).

Elevated LH is also associated with an increased incidence of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease (Qu 2021). Elevated LH early on in traumatic brain injury may predict increased morbidity and mortality risk (Hohl 2018).


Luteinizing hormone (LH) is a glycoprotein produced in the anterior pituitary. It promotes the maturing of primordial (undifferentiated) germ cells and has later effects on the ovaries and testes. LH stimulates testosterone production in the testes, which feeds back and inhibits further LH release. LH works closely with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) (Nedresky 2021).

Elevated LH in men may be associated with hypertension, a major cardiovascular risk factor. In a population‐based, cross‐sectional, multicenter study of 6,296 men, the highest LH levels were seen in those subjects with severe grade 2 hypertension. Serum LH was 6.94 IU/L in grade 2 hypertension and 6.15 in those with normal blood pressure. Free testosterone was significantly lower in those with grade 2 hypertension (Qu 2021).

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Hohl, Alexandre et al. “Luteinizing Hormone and Testosterone Levels during Acute Phase of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: Prognostic Implications for Adult Male Patients.” Frontiers in endocrinology vol. 9 29. 13 Feb. 2018, doi:10.3389/fendo.2018.00029

Nedresky, Daniel. and Gurdeep Singh. “Physiology, Luteinizing Hormone.” StatPearls, StatPearls Publishing, 28 September 2021.

Pagana, Kathleen Deska, et al. Mosby's Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference. 15th ed., Mosby, 2021.

Qu, Mengyuan et al. “Association of Serum Testosterone and Luteinizing Hormone With Blood Pressure and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Middle-Aged and Elderly Men.” Journal of the American Heart Association vol. 10,7 (2021): e019559. doi:10.1161/JAHA.120.019559

Tag(s): Biomarkers

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