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17-Ketosteroids urine test

Definition

17-ketosteroids are substances that form when the body breaks down male steroid sex hormones called androgens and other hormones released by the adrenal glands in males and females, and by the testes in males.

How the Test is Performed

A 24-hour urine sample is needed. You will need to collect your urine over 24 hours. Your health care provider will tell you how to do this. Follow instructions exactly to ensure accurate results.

How to Prepare for the Test

Your health care provider will ask you to temporarily stop any medicines that may affect the test results. Be sure to tell your provider about all the medicines you take. These include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Aspirin (if you are on long-term aspirin)
  • Birth control pills
  • Diuretics (water pills)
  • Estrogen

Do not stop taking any medicine before talking to your doctor.

How the Test will Feel

The test involves normal urination. There is no discomfort.

Why the Test is Performed

Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of a disorder associated with abnormal levels of androgens.

Normal Results

Normal values are as follows:

  • Male: 8 to 20 milligrams (mg) per 24 hours
  • Female: 6 to 12 mg per 24 hr

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Increased levels of 17-ketosteroids may be due to:

Decreased levels of 17-ketosteroids may be due to:

  • Adrenal glands not making enough of their hormones (Addison's disease)
  • Kidney damage
  • Pituitary gland not making enough of its hormones (hypopituitarism)
  • Removal of the testicles (castration)

Risks

There are no risks with this test.

References

Guber HA, Farag AF. Evaluation of endocrine function. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 24.


Review Date: 10/29/2013
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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