Why am I having this test?
Adrenal enlargement (hyperplasia).
What is being tested?
This test measures the level of 17-ketosteroid hormones in your urine. These hormones are the breakdown products (metabolites) of the male sex hormone testosterone and other hormones that are released by the adrenal cortex.
What kind of sample is taken?
A urine sample is required for this test. Your healthcare provider will give you a container to collect all the urine you produce over 24 hours.
How do I collect samples at home?
You will be asked to collect and store all your urine for 24 hours. Follow instructions from a healthcare provider about how to collect the sample.
Use supplies and instructions that you received from the lab.
Collect urine only in the germ-free (sterile) container that you received from the lab.
Do not let any toilet paper or stool (faeces) get into the container.
Refrigerate the sample until you can return it to the lab.
Return the sample to the lab as instructed. Keep the jug cool in an ice chest while you are bringing it to the lab.
How do I prepare for this test?
Certain medicines may affect the test results. Ask your healthcare provider if any of your medicines need to be stopped or changed for a period of time before the test.
How are the results reported?
Your test results will be reported as values. Your healthcare provider will compare your results to normal ranges that were established after testing a large group of people (reference ranges). Reference ranges may vary among labs and hospitals.
What do the results mean?
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia. This condition is caused by a defect in a protein (enzyme) that results in low production of the hormone cortisol. This is the most common cause of increased 17-ketosteroid levels in children.
Tumours that secrete a hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).
Tumours in the adrenal glands, ovaries or testes that secrete testosterone or other sex hormones.
Hyperpituitarism. This condition causes extra secretion of certain hormones from the pituitary gland in the brain.
Severe stress or infection.
Certain long-term (chronic) diseases.
Addison disease. This is a condition that decreases adrenal function.
Hypopituitarism. This condition causes decreased secretion of certain hormones from the pituitary gland in the brain.
Talk with your healthcare provider about what your results mean.
Questions to ask your healthcare provider
When will my results be ready?
How will I get my results?
What are my treatment options?
What other tests do I need?
What are my next steps?
The 17-ketosteroid urine test is mainly used to help diagnose adrenal problems, including adrenal tumours and adrenal hyperplasia.
You will be asked to collect and store all your urine for 24 hours. Use supplies and instructions that you received from the lab.
Various conditions can cause increased or decreased 17-ketosteroid hormone levels. Talk with your healthcare provider about what your results mean.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.