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: 8 to 20 mg per 24 hours
- Female: 6 to 12 mg per 24 hr
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
Decreased levels of 17-ketosteroids may be due to:
There are no risks with this test.
Carmina E, Stanczyk FZ, Lobo RA. Laboratory assessment. In: Strauss JF, Barbieri RL, eds. Yen and Jaffe's Reproductive Endocrinology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 34.
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Metyrapone (cortisol) - 24-hour urine. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:787.
Update Date 11/1/2015
Updated by: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.