17-OH progesterone17-hydroxyprogesterone; Progesterone - 17-OH
17-OH progesterone is a blood test that measures the amount of 17-OH progesterone. This is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands and sex glands.
The adrenal glands are two triangle-shaped glands. One gland is located on top of each kidney.
How the Test is Performed
A blood sample is needed. Most of the time blood is drawn from a vein located on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.
Drawn from a vein
Venipuncture is the collection of blood from a vein. It is most often done for laboratory testing.
In infants or young children, a sharp tool called a lancet may be used to puncture the skin.
- The blood collects in a small glass tube called a pipette, or onto a slide or test strip.
- A bandage is put over the spot to stop any bleeding.
How to Prepare for the Test
Many medicines can interfere with blood test results.
- Your health care provider will tell you if you need to stop taking any medicines before you have this test.
- Do not stop or change your medicines without talking to your doctor first.
How the Test will Feel
You may feel slight pain or a sting when the needle is inserted. You may also feel some throbbing at the site after the blood is drawn.
Why the Test is Performed
The main use of this test is to check infants for an inherited disorder that affects the adrenal gland, called congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). It is often done on infants who are born with outer genitals that do not clearly look like those of a boy or a girl.
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is the name given to a group of inherited disorders of the adrenal gland.
This test is also used to identify people who have a condition called nonclassical adrenal hyperplasia. A doctor may recommend this test for women or girls who have male traits such as:
- Excess hair growth in places where adult men grow hair
- Deep voice or an increase in muscle mass
- Absence of menses
Normal and abnormal values differ for babies born with low birth weight. In general, normal results are as follows:
- Babies more than 24 hours old - less than 400 to 600 nanaograms per deciliter (ng/dL) or 12.12 to 18.18 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L)
- Children before puberty around 100 ng/dL or 3.03 nmol/L
- Adults - less than 200 ng/dL or 6.06 nmol/L
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.
What Abnormal Results Mean
A high level of 17-OH progesterone may be due to:
In infants with CAH, the 17-OHP level ranges from 2,000 to 40,000 ng/dL or 60.6 to 1212 nmol/L. In adults, a level greater than 200 ng/dL or 6.06 nmol/L may be due to nonclassical adrenal hyperplasia.
Your doctor may suggest an ACTH test if 17-OH progesterone level is between 200 to 800 ng/dL or 6.06 to 24.24 nmol/L.
The ACTH test measures the level of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in the blood. ACTH is a hormone released from the pituitary gland in the brai...
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Review Date: 5/9/2015
Reviewed By: Cynthia D. White, MD, Fellow American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Group Health Cooperative, Bellevue, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.