| The Citation Classic:
Judith L. Vaitukaitis, Glenn D. Braunstein, Griff T. Ross,
“A radioimmunoassay which specifically measures human
chorionic gonadotropin in the presence of human luteinizing
hormone,” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
113:6, pp 751-758, July 15, 1972. (Citation Classic; Current
Contents/Clinical Practice 11:24, 1983).
Abstract: With antiserum to the beta-subunit of human chorionic
gonadotropin (hCG), we have developed a radioimmunoassay which
selectively measures hCG in samples containing both human pituitary
luteinizing hormone (HLH) and hCG. High HLH levels observed
in samples obtained at the midcycle peak or from castrate patients
do not cause significant inhibition in the specific hCG radioimmunoassay.
The sensitivity of the assay is sufficient for distinguishing
hCG from follicular and luteal phase HLH levels. This specific
hCG radioimmunoassay is ideal for following serum hCG levels
in patients undergoing chemotherapy for hCG-secreting tumors
as well as for follow-up of patients after termination of molar
pregnancies. In addition, the sensitivity of the assay will
permit earlier diagnosis of pregnancy which, in turn, would
permit earlier therapeutic intervention if desired.
For more on the scientific basis for various urine
pregnancy tests throughout human history, see J. Burstein
and G.D. Braunstein, “Urine pregnancy tests from antiquity
to the present,” Early Pregnancy: Biology and Medicine
1 (1995) pp. 288-296. Several entries in the “Timeline
of Pregnancy Tests” were based on this material.
More information on the history of research on female
reproductive hormones can be found in Vern Bullough, Science
in the Bedroom: A History of Sex Research, Basic Books,
1994. See especially pp. 126-132. See also Ann Rudinow Saetnan,
Nelly Oudshoorn, and Marta Kirejczyk, eds., Bodies of
Technology: Women’s Involvement with Reproductive Medicine,
Ohio State University Press, 2000.
For more on the medical profession’s increased
“efforts to establish itself as the source of maternity
care for the middle class,” see the entry on Pregnancy
Testing in Barbara Katz Rothman, ed. The Encyclopedia
of Childbearing. Holt & Co., 1993, pp. 327-328.
On medical tests see: Trevor Pinch, “Testing—1,2,3
Testing: Toward a Sociology of Testing.” Science,
Technology and Human Values (Winter, 1993) pp. 25-41.
A description of the testing that led to FDA approval
of the first home pregnancy tests can be found in: “Home
Pregnancy Test Simple to Use, Reasonably Accurate, Especially
if Result is Positive,” Family Planning Perspectives
11:3 (May/June 1979) pp. 190-191.
The Power House Museum of Australia features an online exhibit
on the history and material culture of menstruation at: http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/rags/
Many popular women’s magazines have featured articles
about women’s relationships with OB/GYNs and pregnancy
testing in the past few decades. See for example:
- Joann Ellison Rodgers, “Who’s Running the
Show—Gynecologists or Patients?” Mademoiselle
(November 1978), pp. 74-75.
- Joel Gurin, “Home Medical Tests: What Works, What
Doesn’t, What’s Right for You.” Glamour
(September 1988), pp. 142-145.
- Cynthia Hacinli, “All Pregnancy Tests are Not
Equal,” Mademoiselle, (March 1989), p.142.
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Vaitukaitis, Braunstein, and Ross'
paper on the hCG radioimmunoassay, 1972.
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