Test Catalog

Test ID: FSHB    
Follicle Stimulating Hormone, Beta Subunit (Beta FSH) Immunostain, Technical Component Only

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Classification of pituitary adenomas

Testing Algorithm Delineates situations when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

For the initial technical component only immunohistochemical (IHC) stain performed, the appropriate bill-only test ID will be reflexed and charged (IHTOI). For each additional technical component only IHC stain performed, an additional bill-only test ID will be reflexed and charged (IHTOA).

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulates maturation of ovarian follicles and estrogen secretion in females. Sparse population of cells stain positively in normal pituitary gland (approximately 10% of cells). This population of gonadotrophs also produces luteinizing hormone. Immunohistochemical detection of beta FSH (bFSH) may be useful in the classification of pituitary adenomas.

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

This test includes only technical performance of the stain (no pathologist interpretation is performed). Mayo Clinic cannot provide an interpretation of tech only stains outside the context of a pathology consultation. If an interpretation is needed, refer to PATHC / Pathology Consultation for a full diagnostic evaluation or second opinion of the case. All material associated with the case is required. Additional specific stains may be requested as part of the pathology consultation, and will be performed as necessary at the discretion of the Mayo pathologist.


The positive and negative controls are verified as showing appropriate immunoreactivity and documentation is retained at Mayo Clinic Rochester. If a control tissue is not included on the slide, a scanned image of the relevant quality control tissue is available upon request. Contact 855-516-8404.


Interpretation of this test should be performed in the context of the patient's clinical history and other diagnostic tests by a qualified pathologist.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Age of a cut paraffin section can affect immunoreactivity. Stability thresholds vary widely among published literature and are antigen-dependent. Best practice is for paraffin sections to be cut within 6 weeks.

Clinical Reference Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Hamid Z, Mrak RE, Ijaz MT, Faas FH: Sensitivity and Specificity of Immunohistochemistry in Pituitary Adenomas. The Endocrinologist 2009; 19(1):38-43

2. Osamura RY, Kajiya H, Takei M, et al: Pathology of the Human Pituitary Adenomas. Histochem Cell Biol 2008; 130(3):495-507

3. Osamura RY, Watanabe K: Immunohistochemical Studies of Human FSH Producing Pituitary Adenomas. Virchows Archiv A 1988; 413(1):61-68

4. Pawlikowski M, Pisarek H, Kubiak R. et al: Immunohistochemical Detection of FSH Receptors in Pituitary Adenomas and Adrenal Tumors. Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2012; 50(3):325-330