Late-onset 21-hydroxylase deficiency: reliable diagnosis by steroid analysis of random urine collections.

PMID 3502202


The feasibility of performing steroid analysis by capillary gas chromatography on random urine samples for the detection of mild late-onset 21-hydroxylase deficiency was evaluated. Comparisons were made of basal excretions of androgen and 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone metabolites with plasma levels (basal and stimulated) of 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone and testosterone in six patients with the disorder. The following steroid metabolite excretion ratios were determined for normal controls and affected individuals. 1) 17 alpha-hydroxypregnanolone/tetrahydrocortisone + tetrahydrocortisol + 5 alpha-tetrahydrocortisol (cortisol metabolites) (normal 0.017-0.10, affected 0.17-0.42); 2) pregnanetriol/cortisol metabolites (normal 0.03-0.15, affected 0.17-0.99); 3) pregnanetriolone/cortisol metabolites (normal 0.02-0.014, affected 0.08-0.20); 4) androsterone + etiocholanolone/cortisol metabolites (normal 0.26-1.02, affected 0.34-1.47). Among the 21-deoxy steroid ratios, there was no overlap between affected and unaffected individuals. Two of six affected individuals had androsterone + etiocholanolone/cortisol metabolite ratios in the normal range. This method provides excellent discrimination between normal and affected individuals, precluding the need for an ACTH-stimulation test. It is anticipated that it will be increasingly used for diagnosis of the condition.