St. Luke's Hospital
Located in Chesterfield, MO
Main Number: 314-434-1500
Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia



    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 in the testes in males.

    This article discusses the laboratory test used to measure the amount of 17-ketosteroids in a urine sample.

    How the Test is Performed

    A 24-hour urine sample is needed.

    • On day 1, urinate into the toilet when you get up in the morning.
    • Afterwards, collect all urine in a special container for the next 24 hours.
    • On day 2, urinate into the container when you get up in the morning.
    • Cap the container. Keep it in the refrigerator or a cool place during the collection period.
    • Label the container with your name, the date, the time of completion, and return it as instructed.

    For an infant, thoroughly wash the area around the urethra. Open a urine collection bag (a plastic bag with an adhesive paper on one end), and place it on the infant. For males, place the entire penis in the bag and attach the adhesive to the skin. For females, place the bag over the labia. Diaper as usual over the secured bag.

    This procedure may take a couple of attempts -- lively infants can move the bag, causing the urine to be absorbed by the diaper. Check the infant frequently and change the bag after the infant has urinated into it. Drain the urine from the bag into the container provided by your health care provider.

    Deliver it to the laboratory or your health care provider as soon as possible upon completion.

    How to Prepare for the Test

    Your health care provider will instruct you, if necessary, to discontinue drugs that may interfere with the test. Make sure your doctor knows about all the medicines you take, including those bought without a prescription.

    Drugs that can increase 17-ketosteroids measurements include

    • Antibiotics
    • Chloramphenicol
    • Chlorpromazine
    • Dexamethasone
    • Meprobamate
    • Phenothiazines
    • Quinidine
    • Secobarbital
    • Spironolactone

    Drugs that can decrease 17-ketosteroids measurements include:

    • Birth control pills
    • Estrogens
    • Probenecid
    • Reserpine
    • Salicylates (prolonged use)
    • Thiazide diuretics

    How the Test Will Feel

    The test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.

    Why the Test is Performed

    Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of a disorder associated with abnormal levels of androgens.

    Normal Results

    Normal values are as follows:

    • Male: 8 to 20 milligrams (mg) per 24 hours
    • Female: 6 to 12 mg per 24 hr

    The examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. 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 tumor
    • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (very rare)
    • Cushing syndrome
    • Ovarian cancer
    • Testicular cancer
    • Polycystic ovarian disease

    Decreased levels of 17-ketosteroids may be due to:

    • Addison's disease
    • Castration
    • Hypopituitarism
    • Myxedema
    • Nephrosis


    There are no risks.


    This test is not done as often as it was in the past because newer tests are used instead.

    Excessive weight (obesity) can also interfere with test results.


    Nieman LK. Adrenal cortex. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 234.


    • Urine sample


      • Urine sample


      Tests for 17-ketosteroids

      Review Date: 11/17/2011

      Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

      The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

      A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.

      Back  |  Top
      About Us
      Contact Us
      Locations & Directions
      Quality Reports
      Annual Reports
      Honors & Awards
      Community Health Needs

      Brain & Spine
      Sleep Medicine
      Urgent Care
      Women's Services
      All Services
      Patients & Visitors
      Locations & Directions
      Find a Physician
      Tour St. Luke's
      Patient & Visitor Information
      Contact Us
      Payment Options
      Financial Assistance
      Send a Card
      Mammogram Appointments
      Health Tools
      My Personal Health
      Spirit of Women
      Health Information & Tools
      Clinical Trials
      Employer Programs -
      Passport to Wellness

      Classes & Events
      Classes & Events
      Spirit of Women
      Donate & Volunteer
      Giving Opportunities
      Physicians & Employees
      For Physicians
      Remote Access
      Medical Residency Information
      Pharmacy Residency Information
      Physician CPOE Training
      St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
      Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Notice of Privacy Practices PDF  |  Patient Rights PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile