Urinary steroids in young women with eating disorders

J Biochem Biophys Methods. 2004 Oct 29;61(1-2):199-205. doi: 10.1016/j.jbbm.2004.09.004.


Urinary steroid components were measured after enzyme hydrolysis and methoxym-silyl derivatization by capillary gas chromatography in young women with eating disorders. Using three internal standards, programmed temperature from 50 to 300 degrees C and flame ionization detection, on ULTRA-1 capillary column the separation of 28 steroid components is possible. Fifteen young women with different eating disorders, i.e. anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and bulimarexia (aged 16-28 years) and 15 healthy women (aged 22-26 years) collected 24-h urine. A significant decrease of dehydroepiandrosterone (p<0.05) and a significant elevation of the stress marker allo-tetrahydrocorticosterone (p<0.05) were observed in the patients with compared to the controls. Among the patients two groups were defined due to a significant difference in the content of the cortisol metabolites compared to each other and to controls (p<0.01). The results confirm the role of dehydroepiandrosterone in eating disorders. The increased level of the stress marker allo-tetrahydrocorticosterone refers to the involvement of stress in these diseases, but the relevance of hormone alteration to the pathophysiology of eating disorders remains to be elucidated. The reason of the differences in cortisol metabolites levels in some patients needs further investigations.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Chromatography, Gas / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Steroids / urine*
  • Urinalysis / methods*
  • Women's Health


  • Biomarkers
  • Steroids