17-Ketosteroids Level (24 hours urine): Clinical Significance, Precautions and Normal Values
Purpose of the test
How to collect the urine sample for the 17-ketosteroids test?
- For the test of 17-ketosteroids in urine, 24 hours urine sample is required. Urine is collected in a container, containing one gram boric acid or 6 ml hydrochloric acid (HCl).
- The first urine sample is discarded and then collected the all urine sample for 24 hours.
- The 24 hours urine sample is transferred to the pathology laboratory for laboratory findings.
Why is boric acid used for the collection of the urine sample?
Boric acid converts the urine into a bacteriostatic medium, which inhibits the growth of bacteria in urine and preserves the urine for its bacteriological examination.
Some medicines like aspirin, diuretics, antibiotics, birth control medication and hormones therapy (e.g. Estrogen) may interfere with laboratory findings, so avoid such types of medicine before preparing yourself for the laboratory test.
- Males: 8-20 mg/24-hour
- Females: 6-15 mg/24-hour
- Elderly males > 70 years: 3-12 mg/24-hour
- Elderly females > 70 years: 3-13 mg/24-hour
- Infants: < 1 mg/24-hour
- 1 to 5 years: < 5 mg/24-hour
Reasons for the increased level of 17-ketosteroids in the 24-hour urine sample
- Stein-Leventhal syndrome
- Ectopic ACTH-secreting tumors
- Administration of ACTH
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- Testosterone secreting or androgen-secreting tumors of:
(1) Ectopic ACTH-secreting tumors
Reasons for the decreased level of 17-ketosteroids in the 24-hour urine sample
- Severe infections
- Klinefelter's syndrome
- Addison’s disease
- Severe stress
- Debilitating diseases
- Chronic diseases
- Drugs that can decrease the level of 17-ketosteroids include:
(d) Thiazide diuretics
(e) Salicylates (prolonged use)
(f) Birth control pills
The significance of 17-ketosteroids for the layman
- The test is advised if the females has hairs on her face.
- The test is performed to elaborate any abnormality or disorders of the adrenal gland.