Updated: May 13, 2022
  • Author: Rajaa Almourani, MD; Chief Editor: Daniela Hermelin, MD  more...
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Reference Range

The reference range of urinary 17-ketosteroids is as follows [1] :

  • Males: 10-20 mg (34-69 µmol)/24 h

  • Females: 5-15 mg (17-52 µmol)/24 h



Increases in levels of 24-hour urinary 17-ketosteroids are associated with the following:

A study by Adriaansen et al suggested that salivary samples of the 17-ketosteroid androstenedione as well as of another steroid, 17-hydroxyprogesterone, can be used to monitor the efficacy of treatment in congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The investigators found that saliva could be collected by patients at home and sent to a laboratory for analysis, since both steroids remain stable in the saliva for up to 5 days at ambient temperature. The reference ranges for androstenedione in adults were determined to be 119-553 pmol/L (morning), 40-363 pmol/L (afternoon), and 42-319 pmol/L (evening), while for children they were 10-123 pmol/L (morning), < 7-54 pmol/L (afternoon), and < 7-42 pmol/L (evening). [2]

Decreases in levels of 24-hour urinary 17-ketosteroids are associated with the following:


Collection and Panels

Specifics for collection and panels are as follows:

  • Specimen type: Urine (see image below)

    Urine sample. Urine sample.
  • Collection method: 24-hour urine collection

  • Other instructions: Record duration and total volume




The 17-ketosteroids are breakdown products of androgens. Examples of 17-ketosteroids include androstenedione, androsterone, estrone, and dehydroepiandrosterone.


Newer tests have superseded 17-ketosteroid testing, and the assay is seldom used now.


Drugs that can increase 17-ketosteroids measurements include the following:

  • Antibiotics (eg, penicillin, oxacillin)

  • Chlorpromazine

  • Ethinamate

  • Meprobamate

  • Phenaglycodol

  • Nalidixic acid

  • Spironolactone

Drugs that can decrease 17-ketosteroids measurements include the following:

  • Progestational agents

  • Carbamazepine

  • Cephalothin

  • Propoxyphene

  • Reserpine

  • Glucose

  • Chlordiazepoxide