The 17-hydroxycorticosteroids (17-OHCS) test measures the level of 17-OHCS in the urine.
17-OH corticosteroids; 17-OHCS
How the Test is Performed
A 24-hour urine sample is needed. You will need to
How to Prepare for the Test
Your 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
How the Test will Feel
The test involves only normal urination. There is no discomfort.
Why the Test is Performed
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 cortisol. The test may be used to diagnose
The urine volume and urine creatinine are often done with 17-OHCS test at the same time. This helps the provider interpret the test.
This test is not done often now. The free
- Male: 3 to 9 mg/24 hours (8.3 to 25 µmol/24 hours)
- Female: 2 to 8 mg/24 hours (5.5 to 22 µmol/24 hours)
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.
What Abnormal Results Mean
A higher than normal level of 17-OHCS may indicate:
- A type of
Cushing syndromecaused by a tumor in the adrenal gland that produces cortisol
- Hydrocortisone therapy
- A hormonal cause of severe
high blood pressure
- Severe physical or emotional stress
Tumor in the pituitary glandor elsewhere in the body that releases a hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)
A lower than normal level of 17-OHCS may indicate:
Adrenal glands are not producing enough of their hormones Pituitary gland is not producing enough of its hormones
- Hereditary enzyme deficiency
- Previous surgery to remove the adrenal gland
- An expected result if part of a standard three- day dexamethasone suppression test
Urinating more than 3 liters a day (polyuria) can make the result of the test high even though cortisol production is normal.
There are no risks with this test.
Newell-Price JDC, Auchus RJ. The adrenal cortex. In: Melmed S, Auchus, RJ, Goldfine AB, Koenig RJ, Rosen CJ, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 15.
Review Date: 12/05/2023
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