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17-hydroxycorticosteroid urine test


Definition:

The 17-hydroxycorticosteroid (17-OHCS) test measures the level of 17-OHCS in the urine.

Alternative Names:

17-OH corticosteroids; 17-OHCS

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 so that the results are accurate.

How to Prepare for the Test:

The health care provider will instruct you, if necessary, to stop medicines that may interfere with the test. These may include:

  • Birth control pills that contain estrogen
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Glucocorticoids
How the Test will Feel:

The test involves only normal urination. There is no discomfort.

Why the Test is Performed:

17-hydroxycorticosteroid (17-OHCS) is a product formed when the liver and other body tissues break down the steroid hormone, cortisol.

This test can help determine if the body is producing too much of the hormone, cortisol. The test may be used to diagnose Cushing syndrome.

Normal Results:

Normal values:

  • Male: 4 to 14 milligrams per 24 hours
  • Female: 2 to 12 milligrams per 24 hours

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:

A higher than normal level of 17-OHCS may indicate:

  • Cushing syndrome caused by a tumor in the adrenal gland that produces cortisol
  • Depression
  • Hydrocortisone therapy
  • Malnutrition
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Severe high blood pressure
  • Severe physical or emotional stress
  • Tumor in the pituitary gland or elsewhere in the body that releases a hormone called ACTH

A lower than normal level of 17-OHCS may indicate:

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.

Stewart PM, Krone NP. The adrenal cortex. In: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, Kronenberg HM, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 15.


Review Date: 11/7/2013
Reviewed By: Brent Wisse, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Nutrition, 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 physician 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. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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