Medscape is available in 5 Language Editions – Choose your Edition here.


17-Hydroxyprogesterone, Serum 

  • Author: Muhammad Bader Hammami, MD; Chief Editor: Eric B Staros, MD  more...
Updated: Jul 23, 2013

Reference Range

Reference ranges of serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHPG) are as follows[1, 2, 3] :

  • Cord blood: 1000-3000 ng/dL
  • Newborns: < 630 ng/dL (>630 ng/dL may be seen in preterm infants, but >1000 ng/dL is uncommon)
  • Prepubertal males: < 110 ng/dL
  • Adult males: < 220 ng/dL
  • Prepubertal females: < 100 ng/dL
  • Follicular (in females): < 80 ng/dL
  • Luteal (in females): < 285 ng/dL
  • Postmenopausal females: < 51 ng/dL

The measurement of the levels of 17-hydroxyprogesterone in the serum is useful in the evaluation of patients with suspected congenital adrenal hyperplasia.


Collection and Panels

Because the levels of 17 hydroxyprogesterone vary throughout the day, no special preparations are needed for this test.

The specimen type is serum.

The container is a serum separator tube. Also acceptable is a lavender (EDTA), pink (K2EDTA), or green (sodium or lithium heparin) tube.

For specimen preparation, transfer 0.5 mL serum or plasma to an ARUP Standard Transport Tube (minimum of 0.3 mL).

The stability of the collection after separation from cells at ambient temperature is 48 hours, refrigerated is 1 week, and frozen is 6 months.

The following are related tests:

  • Corticotropin (also known as adrenocorticotropic hormone [ACTH])
  • Testosterone
  • Androstenedione
  • Cortisol



17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHPG) is produced primarily in the adrenal glands and to some degree in the gonads, specifically the corpus luteum of the ovary.

Normal levels are 3-90 ng/dL in children; in women, they are 20-100 ng/dL prior to ovulation and 100-500 ng/dL during the luteal phase.

17-hydroxyprogesterone is elevated when 2 enzymes are defective (21-hydroxylase and 11β-hydroxylase), and its elevation leads to congenital adrenal hyperplasia.


The 17-hydroxyprogesterone test is routinely ordered as a part of the newborn screening to detect congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia is an inherited disorder caused by specific gene mutations; about 90% of cases are caused by a mutation in the CYP21A gene.

Measurement of 17-hydroxyprogesterone in the blood may also be used to aid in the diagnosis of congenital adrenal hyperplasia in older children.

Its measurement also can help to rule out congenital adrenal hyperplasia in females with hirsutism and irregular menses.


If a 17-hydroxyprogesterone test result is abnormal, a corticotropin-stimulation test may be ordered as a follow-up test.

A karyotype test may be ordered as a follow-up test to detect chromosomal disorders and to help know the sex of the baby.

Electrolytes may also be ordered to measure the levels of sodium and potassium.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Muhammad Bader Hammami, MD Resident Physician, Department of Internal Medicine, St Louis University School of Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Eric B Staros, MD Associate Professor of Pathology, St Louis University School of Medicine; Director of Clinical Laboratories, Director of Cytopathology, Department of Pathology, St Louis University Hospital

Eric B Staros, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association, American Society for Clinical Pathology, College of American Pathologists, Association for Molecular Pathology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

  1. Burris CA, Ashwood ER, Burns DE. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier Saunders; 2006.

  2. McPherson RA, Pincus MR. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Saunders; 2011.

  3. Wallach J. Interpretation of Diagnostic Tests. 6th ed. New York, NY: Little Brown & Co; 1996.

Vacutainer tube, red top.
All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2016 by WebMD LLC. This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.