Blood test androstenedione from serum
Androstenedione is a steroid from which the body makes male hormone testosterone and female hormones estrogen, i.e. estradiol, estrone and estriol.
Androstenedione is produced in both the adrenal and gonads from cholesterol, with progesterone as an intermediate step.
In women, blood draw about 1 week before or after menstruation.
Indications to test for suspicion of adrenal tumor, adrenogenital syndrome, adrenal hirsutism, virilization (masculinization)
- 11-17 years: <240 ng/dl
- men 18-120 years: 30-263 ng/dl
- women 18-50 years old: 10-299 ng/dl
- Women postmenopausal <50 ng/dl
Androstenedione is elevated in:
hirsutism and masculinization of women, PCOS polycystic ovaries, androgen producing adrenal cortex tumor, adrenogenital syndrome.
Adrenogenital syndrome (AGS) is an inherited disorder of hormone production in the adrenal cortex, producing too many androgens (sex hormones), usually too little cortisol and sometimes too little aldosterone.AGS occurs because the enzyme 21 hydroxylase needed for the production of these hormones in the adrenal gland does not work or works much less well.
Because of the shortage of cortisol in AGS, the pituitary gland (gland at the base of the brain) keeps stimulating the adrenal glands to make cortisol. The adrenal glands grow larger as a result. Because the adrenal glands are constantly stimulated and the enzyme 21 hydroxylase is missing, only androgens are made.
AGS occurs in a severe form (classic AGS). There is also a milder form (non-classical AGS). In classical AGS, a distinction is made between the classic form with and without salt loss.
Central Cushing's syndrome
Cushing's disease occurs when the adrenal gland produces too much cortisol. This happens when a growth on the pituitary gland produces too much adrenal stimulating hormone (ACTH). These growths are usually benign. There are also other causes of Cushing's disease, such as an adrenal adenoma or long-term use of prednisone.
Cushing's disease is a rare disorder. It is estimated that this diagnosis is made in approximately 50 people per year in The Netherlands.
Cushing's syndrome is the collective name for all symptoms caused by the (usually long-term) exposure to too much cortisol in the blood. A patient with these symptoms has Cushing's disease.
Androstenedione reduced in:
adrenal cortex insufficiency, ovarian failure, post-menopause, sickle cell anemia, corticosteroids, Clomiphene therapy