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Alternative namesThis is a blood test that measures the amount of 17-OH progesterone.
How the test is performed
Blood is drawn from a vein, usually on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The puncture site is cleaned with antiseptic, and an elastic band is placed around the upper arm to cause the vein below the band to swell with blood.
A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. During the procedure, the band is removed to restore circulation. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
How to prepare for the testThe health care provider will instruct you, if necessary, to discontinue drugs that may interfere with the test. These include corticosteroids and birth control pills. The health care provider may advise that the test be performed at a specific time of day, because this can affect the test results.
Fo infants and children:
The preparation you can provide for this test depends on your child's age, previous experiences, and level of trust. For general information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following:
How the test will feelWhen the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may some throbbing.
Why the test is performedThis test is used primarily to identify patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). CAH is a rare genetic disorder that results from a deficiency of a particular enzyme that normally makes cortisol in the adrenal gland. This deficiency results in abnormal levels of certain steroids and hormones, specifically increasing androgens (male hormones) and decreasing glucocorticoids.
What abnormal results meanLevels higher than 200 ng/dL may indicate CAH.
What the risks are
Special considerationsThis test is sensitive to circadian rhythms (the natural peaks and lows that the body experiences during a day).
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Update Date: 7/30/2003Douglas A. Levine, M.D., Gynecology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT