Serum and urinary steroids in girls with precocious pubarche and/or hirsutism due to mild 3-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency

J. Sólyom, Z. Halász, E. Hosszú, E. Gláz, R. Vihko, M. Orava, J. Homoki, S. A. Wudy, W. M. Teller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


To obtain data on the correlation of serum and urinary steroids in nonclassical 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-HSD) deficiency, 9 girls with precocious pubarche and 33 adolescent girls with mild to severe hirsutism were studied. Urinary steroid profiles were analyzed by capillary gas chromatography. Serum 17-OH-pregnenolone (17-OHPreg) and 17-OH-progesterone (17-OHP) were determined by RIA after column-chromatographic separation. One out of 9 girls with precocious pubarche and 4/33 girls with hirsutism had elevated ratios of 17-OHPreg to 17-OHP after ACTH stimulation in serum and elevated urinary excretion of 5-ene steroids under basal conditions. These patients were defined to have decreased adrenal 3β-HSD activity. Basal and ACTH-stimulated serum 17-OHPreg levels in patients with mild 3β-HSD deficiency overlapped those of healthy controls and peripubertally virilized female patients without enzyme deficiency. Post-ACTH 17-OHPreg/17-OHP ratios in serum discriminated patients with and without 3β-HSD deficiency using a cutoff value of 13 instead of mean + 2 SD for age-related control values (6.7 and 11.6 for girls with Tanner stage II–III and IV–V, respectively). Sums of urinary 5-ene steroids in patients with 3β-HSD deficiency overlapped those in patients without enzyme deficiency. Results showed that an abnormal post-ACTH serum 17-OHPreg/17-OHP ratio may not be associated with elevated urinary 5-ene steroid excretion, and vica versa. In conclusion, patients with simultaneous elevation of post-ACTH serum 17-OHPreg/17-OHP ratio and basal urinary 5-ene steroid excretion are supposed to have mild 3β-HSD deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-141
Number of pages9
JournalHormone Research in Paediatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1995


  • 17-Hydroxypregnenolone
  • 3β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase deficiency
  • Urinary 5-ene steroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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