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 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:
- Aspirin (if you are on long-term aspirin)
- Birth control pills
- Diuretics (water pills)
Do not stop taking any medicine before talking to your provider.
How the Test will Feel
The test involves normal urination. There is no discomfort.
Why the Test is Performed
Your provider may order this test if you have signs of a disorder associated with abnormal levels of androgens.
Normal values are as follows:
- Male: 7 to 20 mg per 24 hours
- Female: 5 to 15 mg 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
Increased levels of 17-ketosteroids may be due to:
- Adrenal gland problems such as tumor, Cushing syndrome
- Imbalance of sex hormones in females (polycystic ovary syndrome)
- Ovarian cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Overactive thyroid
- Testicular cancer
Decreased levels of 17-ketosteroids may be due to:
There are no risks with this test.
Bertholf RL, Cooper M, Winter WE. Adrenal cortex. In: Rifai N, ed. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2018:chap 66.
Nakamoto J. Endocrine testing. In: Jameson JL, De Groot LJ, de Kretser DM, et al, eds. Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 154.
Winter WE, Harris NS. Laboratory evaluation of endocrine hypertension. In: Winter WE, Holmquist B, Sokoll LJ, Bertolf RL, eds. Handbook of Diagnostic Endocrinology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 11.
Review Date 11/5/2021
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.