I understand that there are gland-specific hormone tests, such as:

  • Secretin: for the pancreas; and
  • Prolactin/ACTH: for the pituitary; and
  • PTH: for the payathyroid, etc.

However, are there any "composite" blood panels that test the "entire gamut/spectrum" of organs/glands, similar to what composite metabolic panels do for your cell counts?


1 Answer 1


There are no composite tests that measure all the clinically important hormone producing glands. There are too many hormones produced by too many hormone producing cells/tissues in the body to test for all of them all at once (i.e. in a panel).

For illustrative purposes only... if you go to wikipedia they have a list of all hormones in the human body which is definitely far from complete! But it gives you an indication of just "how many" hormones there are and why testing for all of them is impossible in a panel.

Even with regard only to pancreatic hormones, there are several hormones produced (e.g. insulin, glucagon, somatostatin) that aren't necessarily a marker of the glands overall function (because they are not necessarily involved in the same function). Each of these hormones has different functions even though they are produced by the same gland.

Regardless, from a medical perspective you would never have a reason to test for all of them anyway. If you tested enough of them you'd find at least one of them that would - by chance - be abnormal.

Additionally, if you asked a handful of scientists to name fifty hormones there would be a lot of different hormones on each of their lists. The definition of hormone is vague, and we are learning more about new hormones every day. In the last decade we have learned that bile acids - chemicals predominately produced by the liver that are involved in dietary fat absorption - also act as hormones. There aren't clinical reasons to study all of these molecules just yet, but this demonstrates that it would be impossible to measure all of them all at the same time in one particular "panel".

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Good answer. Lipase and amylase are enzymes to my knowledge. Also many hormones are difficult to measure at all due to instability or low concentration. $\endgroup$
    – Minnow
    Jan 28, 2016 at 22:23
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    $\begingroup$ +1 - Not to mention new hormones are being discovered constantly, it seems. They are actually pretty hard to keep up with. $\endgroup$ Jan 30, 2016 at 0:23

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