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Diagnostic Tests

17 Hydroxyprogesterone Serum

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17 Hydroxyprogesterone Serum

Also known as 17 - Hydroxyprogesterone Blood Serum
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What is this test?

17-hydroxyprogesterone is a test used to measure the amount of 17-hydroxyprogesterone in the blood.

What is 17-hydroxyprogesterone?

17-hydroxyprogesterone is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. This hormone is converted to a stress hormone called cortisol by the help of enzymes. Cortisol is released in larger amounts in the body during times of physical or emotional stress. In some individuals, the adequate amount of cortisol is not produced due to lack of an enzyme 21-hydroxylase. This results in high levels of 17-hydroxyprogesterone in their blood. The low levels of cortisol lead to a genetically inherited disorder called congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). This condition may increase the production of male sex hormones called androgens. There are two major types of congenital adrenal hyperplasia; Classic CAH and Nonclassic CAH. Classic CAH is more common in neonates and infants whereas Nonclassic CAH is more common in childhood and early adulthood.

Why this test is performed?

This test may be performed to screen for a genetic condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia in older children or adults. Your doctor may ask to perform this test if he suspects CAH associated signs and symptoms. In infants, it is recommended by your doctor to perform this test if your child experience signs and symptoms such as pubic hair, lack of interest in eating, dehydration, low blood pressure, vomiting, lack of energy and if the infant’s sex is not obvious.

In young girls and adult women, you may be advised by your doctor to perform this test if you experience signs and symptoms such as a deep voice, irregular periods, increased hair growth, fertility issues, if genitalia appears with both female and male characteristics; more like male, or in case of early hair growth in the pubic and armpit area. This test is also recommended by the doctor if he suspects that you are at risk of adrenal or ovarian cancers.

In young boys and adult men, your doctor may recommend performing this test if you experience signs and symptoms such as a deep voice, well-defined muscles, a large penis, and small testes, early onset of puberty, fertility issues etc.

Your doctor may ask to perform a few more additional tests along with this test to confirm CAH in individuals with increased 17-hydroxyprogesterone levels. This test may also be recommended by your doctor for the individuals receiving treatment for congenital adrenal hyperplasia in order to monitor the treatment response.

Also known as 17 OHP Blood Serum, 17 OH Progesterone Blood Serum.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your 17 Hydroxyprogesterone Serum. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for 17 Hydroxyprogesterone Serum.

You may need to fast (not eat or drink) for 8 hours prior to the test. Fasting is not generally needed for infants. However, follow all the instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Understanding your test results

If the test results fall in the normal reference range generally no medical intervention is necessary.

If the test results show high levels of 17-hydroxyprogesterone it may indicate that the individual is more likely to have the condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). Few more additional tests may also be performed along with this test to confirm this condition. Increased levels of 17-hydroxyprogesterone in individuals receiving treatment for congenital adrenal hyperplasia may indicate a poor response to the treatment.

Decreased or low levels of 17-hydroxyprogesterone in individuals receiving treatment for congenital adrenal hyperplasia may indicate a proper response to the treatment.

If there is higher or lower than normal levels of 17-hydroxyprogesterone consult your doctor for further instructions. Based on the test results, your doctor may advise appropriate medical treatments or further diagnostic tests.

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groups20 - 100ng/dl
UNISEXAll age groups100 - 500ng/dl
UNISEXAll age groups< 70ng/dl
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