Urinary steroid profile analysis

Clin Chim Acta. 2001 Nov;313(1-2):45-50. doi: 10.1016/s0009-8981(01)00648-9.


Background: A detailed analysis (profile) of the steroid metabolites in urine is useful for diagnosis of adrenal problems. Hospitals from many of UK health regions and around the world use the specialist assay and advisory service at UCLH. According to the total workload, samples are from patients with precocious puberty/premature adrenarche (21%), ambiguous genitalia (17%), Cushing's syndrome (13%), tumors (11%), polycystic ovaries (9%), hypertension (6%), problems of growth and development (5%), salt-loss (3%) and male pseudohermaphroditism (3%). Sixty percent of samples are from children and comprehensive reference data for steroid excretion rates in childhood unique to this laboratory were essential for interpretation of the results.

Conclusion: The recognition and high excretion rates of certain steroids not easily measured in blood or urine by any other assays was particularly in cases of hypertension and tumors. The assay is cost effective by comparison with the combined costs of several individual hormone measurements but that cost may delay early referral to a specialist centre and that is not in the best interests of the families involved.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Adrenal Gland Diseases / urine
  • Child
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Steroids / urine*


  • Steroids