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The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.


17-hydroxycorticosteroids urine test

Definition

The 17-hydroxycorticosteroids (17-OHCS) test measures the level of 17-OHCS in the urine.

Alternative Names

17-OH corticosteroids; 17-OHCS

How the Test is Performed

A 24-hour urine sample is needed. You will need to collect your urine over 24 hours. Your health care provider will tell you how to do this. Follow instructions exactly.

How to Prepare for the Test

The provider will instruct you, if necessary, to stop medicines that may interfere with the test. These may include:

  • Birth control pills that contain estrogen
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Glucocorticoids

How the Test will Feel

The test involves only normal urination. There is no discomfort.

Why the Test is Performed

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 cortisol. The test may be used to diagnose Cushing syndrome. This is a disorder that occurs when the body has a high level of cortisol.

The urine volume and urine creatinine are often done with 17-OHCS test at the same time. This helps the provider interpret the test.

This test is not done often now. The cortisol urine test is a better screening test.

Normal Results

Normal values:

  • Male: 3 to 9 mg/24 hours (8.3 to 25 µmol/24 hours)
  • Female: 2 to 8 mg/24 hours (5.5 to 22 µmol/24 hours)

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

A higher than normal level of 17-OHCS may indicate:

A lower than normal level of 17-OHCS may indicate:

Risks

There are no risks with this test.

References

Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. 17-hydroxycorticosteroids (17-OHCS) – 24-hour urine. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:659-660.

Juszczak A, Morris DG, Grossman AB, Nieman LK. Cushing's syndrome. In: Jameson JL, De Groot LJ, de Kretser DM, et al, eds. Endocrinology: Adult and Pediatric. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 13.