17-Hydroxypregnenolone, LC/MS-MS

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Turnaround Time: 5 - 10 days
CPT Code:


Test Type: 1 mL Serum or plasma. Frozen
Stability Time:



Room temperature

6 hours


1 day


2 years

Reference Range:

• Premature (26 to 28 weeks): day 4: 375−3559 ng/dL

• Premature (31 to 35 weeks): day 4: 64−2380 ng/dL

• 3 days: 10−829 ng/dL

• 1 to 5 months: 36−763 ng/dL

• 6 to 11 months: 42−540 ng/dL

• 12 to 23 months: 14−207 ng/dL

• 24 months to 5 years: 10−103 ng/dL

• 6 to 9 years: 10−186 ng/dL

• Pubertal: 44−235 ng/dL

• Adults: 53−357 ng/dL


In humans, the adrenal glands and the gonads produce steroid hormones.1,2 The formation of pregnenolone from cholesterol is the first step in steroidogenesis. Steroidogenesis continues along two paths from pregnenolone. 17-Hydroxypregnenolone is produced from pregnenolone through the enzymatic action of 17-α-hydroxylase (17α-H). 3-β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD) mediates the conversion of 17-hydroxypregnenolone to 17-hydroxyprogesterone. Alternatively, the enzyme 17,20 lyase can convert 17-hydroxypregnenolone to dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). 17α-H and 17,20 lyase activity are both mediated by a single microsomal cytochrome P450 complex.

17-hydroxypregnenelone levels have been shown to remain in the normal range in patients with Cushing.3 Levels can be suppressed with dexamethasone inhibition and increased with exogenous ACTH stimulation.3 Levels during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle tend to be higher than during the luteal phase.3 17-hydroxypregnenelone levels have been shown to be elevated in patients with idiopathic hirsutism.4

1. Demers LM, Whitley R. Function of the adrenal cortex. In: Burtis CA, Ashwood ER, eds. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders Co;1999:1530-1569.

2. Donohoue PA, Parker K, Migeon CJ. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia. In Scriver CR, Beaudet AL, Sly WS, et al, eds. The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease. 1995; 2929-2966.

3. McKenna TJ, Brown RD. Pregnenolone in man: Plasma levels in states of normal and abnormal steroidogenesis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1974 Mar; 38(3):480-485. PubMed 4360922

4. McKenna TJ, Miller RB, Liddle GW. Plasma pregnenolone and 17-OH-pregnenolone in patients with adrenal tumors, ACTH excess, or idiopathic hirsutism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1977 Feb; 44(2):231-236. PubMed 190251

Collection Details:

Patient Preparation:

The patient need not be fasting.

Collection Instructions:

Red-top tube, gel-barrier tube, or lavender-top (EDTA) tube.

Transfer the serum or plasma into a LabCorp PP transpak frozen purple tube with screw cap (LabCorp N° 49482) and freeze. To avoid delays in turnaround time when requesting multiple tests on frozen samples, please submit separate frozen specimens for each test requested.