Your source for clinical lab test information.

Sample

Purpose of the test

  1. This is done to assess:
    1. The adrenal cortex function.
    2. To evaluate and monitor the adrenal hyperplasia.
    3. To evaluate and monitor the adrenal tumors.

Precaution

  1. Diuretics
  2. Aspirin
  3. Antibiotics
  4. Hormone therapy like Estrogen.
  5. Stop the birth control medication.

Pathophysiology

  1. To understand the 17-ketosteroids formation, need to understand the adrenal gland function, shown in the following diagram.

  1. Androgens and testosterone metabolized to 17-ketosteroid and this is the overall measure of glucocorticoids.     
  2. The main excretory metabolites of:
    1. Testosterone.
    2. Androstenedione.
    3. DHEA 
      1. Are collectively called as 17-ketosteroids and this can be quantitated in the urine.                                                                     
    4. 17-ketosteroids are the metabolites of testosterone and another androgenic sex hormone.
  3. 17- Ketosteroid is the end product of dehydroepiandrosterone secreted in the urine.
  4. In men:
    1. Roughly 1/3 is produced from the testosterone produced in testes.
    2. Rest comes from other androgenic hormones produced in the adrenal cortex.
  5. In women and children, almost all 17-ketosteroids are non-testosterone androgens produced by the adrenal cortex.
  6. 17-Ketosteroids are not the metabolites of Cortisol, so does not indicate cortisol production.
  7. Increased 17-Ketosteroid causes:
    1. in female cause masculinizing syndrome.
    2. In male cause precocious puberty.

Normal 

Male  10 to 25 mg /24 hours
Female  6 to 15 mg /24 hours
After the age of 70 years   
                                     Male 3 to 12 mg / 24 hours
                                     Female 3 to 13 mg / 24 hours
Infants <1.0 mg / 24 hours
1 to 4 years  <2 mg / 24 hours
10 to 12 years 1 to 5 mg /24 hours
14 to 16 years male  3 to 13 mg/24 hours
14 to 16 years female 2 to 8 mg/24 hours

The increased level is seen in:

  1. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
  2. Pregnancy.
  3. Hyperpituitarism
  4. Testosterone secreting or androgen-secreting tumors of:
    1. Ovaries.
    2. Testes
    3. Ectopic ACTH-secreting tumors.
  5. Administration of ACTH.
  6. Stein-Leventhal syndrome.
  7. Cushing’s syndrome.

The decreased level was seen in:

  1. Severe stress.
  2. Severe infections.
  3. Debilitating diseases.
  4. Addison’s disease
  5. Castration
  6. Hypopituitarism
  7. Myxedema
  8. Nephrosis.
  9. Klinefelter's syndrome.
  10. Chronic diseases.
  11. Drugs that can decrease 17-ketosteroids include:
    1. Birth control pills
    2. Estrogens
    3. Probenecid
    4. Reserpine
    5. Salicylates (prolonged use)
    6. Thiazide diuretics
    7. Birth control pills
    8. Estrogens
    9. Probenecid
    10. Reserpine
    11. Salicylates (prolonged use)
    12. Thiazide diuretics

Test value for the layman:

  1. The 17-ketosteroid test is done to find any abnormality of the adrenal gland.
  2. Advised if the female has hairs on the face.

Possible References Used

Back to tests