Androstenedione

Chemical structure of Androstenedione

Chemical structure of Androstenedione

Androstenedione is a weak androgenic hormone secreted by the testes, ovaries and adrenal glands. The amount present in the blood may be determined in the investigation of female hirsutism (facial hair and other male characteristics). The normal ranges are: –

  • Males:
    • After puberty: 1.7 to 5.2  nmol/L (0.05 to 0.29 µg/100 mL).
    • Before puberty : less than 2 nmol/L (less than 0.05 µg/100 mL).
  • Females:
    • Menstruating: 1.7 to 7.0  nmol/L (0.05 to 0.35 µg/100 mL).
    • Before puberty : less than 2 nmol/L (less than 0.05 µg/100 mL).
    • After menopause : 1.7 to 4.5 nmol/L.

High levels of androstenedione may indicate the presence of a virilising tumour (e.g. ovarian cancer), congenital adrenal hyperplasia (inherited lack of adrenal glands) or polycystic ovarian syndrome (multiple cysts in the ovaries). The levels may also be raised in patients with severe acne and premature baldness. The test can also be used to assess whether a person has entered puberty. It is necessary to collect the sample mid-morning.

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(Last modified: 17th Oct 2014)

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