Androstenedione 

Updated: Dec 05, 2014
  • Author: Georges Elhomsy, MD, ECNU, FACE; Chief Editor: Eric B Staros, MD  more...
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Reference Range

Androstenedione is a C-19 (19 carbon atoms) steroid hormone found in men as well as in premenopausal women. Androstenedione originates in the gonads, with minor contribution from the adrenal glands (1.5-3 mg/day); in postmenopausal women, the adrenal gland constitutes the major source of this hormone.

Androstenedione production in the adrenal glands is under effect of the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ATCH), whereas in the gonadal is controlled by the luteinizing hormone/follicle-stimulating hormone (LH/FSH). Each laboratory has its own reference range for androstenedione, depending on the assay. The table below shows the reference ranges. [1]

Table 1. Androstenedione Reference Ranges (Open Table in a new window)

  Conventional Units SI Units
Men    
18-30 y 50-220 ng/dL 175-768 nmol/L
31-50 y 40-190 ng/dL 140-663 nmol/L
51-60 y 50-220 ng/dL 175-768 nmol/L
Women    
Follicular 35-250 ng/dL 122-873 nmol/L
Midcycle 60-285 ng/dL 209-995 nmol/L
Luteal 30-235 ng/dL 105-820 nmol/L
Postmenopausal 20-75 ng/dL 70-262 nmol/L
Children    
1-12 mo 6-78 ng/dL 21-272 nmol/L
1-4 y 5-51 ng/dL 17-178 nmol/L
5-9 y 6-115 ng/dL 21-401 nmol/L
10-13 y 12-221 ng/dL 42-771 nmol/L
14-17 y 22-225 ng/dL 77-785 nmol/L
Tanner II-III    
Male 17-82 ng/dL 59-286 nmol/L
Female 43-180 ng/dL 150-628 nmol/L
Tanner IV-V    
Male 57-150 ng/dL 199-523 nmol/L
Female 7-68 ng/dL 24-237 nmol/L
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Interpretation

Androstenedione is increased in the following:

Androstenedione is decreased in the following:

  • A rare form of CAH
  • 17α-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase deficiency (the enzyme is also called P450c17 or CYP17)
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Collection and Panels

Collection details are as follows:

  • Patient instruction - No need for fasting
  • Specimen type - Serum
  • Collection tube - Red-top tube or Lavender-top (EDTA) tube
  • Unacceptable conditions - Grossly hemolyzed specimens or gross lipemia
  • Specimen preparation - Separate serum from cells and transfer to transport tube
  • Storage/transport temperature - Refrigerated
  • Stability - Refrigerated: 2 weeks; Frozen: 2 weeks
  • Panels: None

A new method has been developed that simultaneously measures serum testosterone, androstenedione, and DHEA in serum and plasma. [3]

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Background

Description

Androstenedione is a C-19 (19 carbon atoms) steroid hormone found in men as well as in premenopausal women. Androstenedione originates in the gonads, with minor contribution from the adrenal glands (1.5-3 mg/day); in postmenopausal women, the adrenal gland constitutes the major source of this hormone. Androstenedione production in the adrenal glands is under effect of the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ATCH), whereas in the gonadal is controlled by the luteinizing hormone/follicle-stimulating hormone (LH/FSH). [4, 5, 6]

Androstenedione is a biologically inert hormone; in the peripheral tissues like skin and adipose tissue, it can be converted to estrone or testosterone.

Indications/Applications

Androstenedione can be measured in conjunction with other hormones for the following:

  • In the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of hyperandrogenism and PCOS
  • In the diagnosis and treatment monitoring of CAH
  • In the diagnosis of premature adrenarche
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