HCG is a glycoprotein hormone, comprising an alpha and a beta subunit. The alpha subunit has a similar amino acid sequence to that of LH, FSH and TSH.
The beta subunit of all these hormones differs greatly and is responsible for their respective specific hormone function. During pregnancy, HCG is produced by the chorion and the placenta. Its function is to maintain the Corpus Luteum and influence steroid production.
HCG exists in a number of biologically active iso-hormones including the intact hormone and the free beta subunit. Some assays measure the total HCG (i.e. The intact molecule and free beta) while others measure the intact OR free beta. The Elecsys HCG + beta assay measures all fractions of the hormone i.e. The ″In-tact″ hormone, ″nicked″ forms of HCG, the beta-core fragment and the free beta sub-unit.
Oncology: hCG is useful in the detection and monitoring of hCG-producing tumour cells of either ovarian, placental or testicular origin.
- Three patient identifiers from
- N.H.S. number
- Unit Number