Test Details & Preparation
The 17-hydroxycorticosteroid (17-OHCS) test measures the level of 17-OHCS in the urine. A 24-hour urine sample is needed. You will need to collect your urine over 24 hours. Your doctor will tell you how to do this. Follow instructions exactly so that the results are accurate.
The doctor will instruct you, if necessary, to stop medicines that may interfere with the test. These may include birth control pills that contain oestrogen, some antibiotics and glucocorticoids. The test involves only normal urination. There is no discomfort.
17-hydroxycorticosteroid (17-OHCS) is a product formed when the liver and other body tissues break down the steroid hormone, cortisol. This test can help determine if the body is producing too much of the hormone, cortisol. The test may be used to diagnose Cushing's syndrome.
Normal values: male- 4 to 14 milligrams per 24 hours and female- 2 to 12 milligrams per 24 hours. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
A higher than normal level of 17-OHCS may indicate Cushing syndrome caused by a tumour in the adrenal gland that produces cortisol depression hydrocortisone therapy malnutrition obesity pregnancy severe high blood pressure severe physical or emotional stress or tumour in the pituitary gland or elsewhere in the body that releases a hormone called ACTH.
A lower than normal level of 17-OHCS may indicate adrenal glands are not producing enough of their hormones pituitary gland is not producing enough of its hormones hereditary enzyme deficiency or previous surgery to remove the adrenal gland.