Etiocholanolone is an androstenedione and testosterone metabolite that is excreted in the urine. It is produced from androstenedione and the 5-alpha and 5-beta-reductase metabolic pathways.
Etiocholanolone levels help the doctor evaluate the performance of bone marrow, and evaluate adrenal cortex function. It’s a 17-ketosterold. In cases of cancer, etiocholanolone may be used for immunostimulation.
The test may also be done when the patient has low DHEA levels, or has low levels of testosterone. Since etiocholanolone is a normal metabolite, if it is found in low levels with test results, then this means that the body is not producing normal levels of androgens.
The enzyme 5-alpha-reductase is responsible for the conversion of testosterone to dihydroestosterone (DHT) that is related to symptoms such as PCOS, acne, hirsutism, male pattern baldness, cancer and enlargement of the prostate. When 5-alpha-reductase activity is high, low levels of etiocholanolone will be found.
Etiocholanolone levels may be too low in these situations:
- Male hormone insufficiency
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Anorexia nervosa
When etiocholanolone levels are high, the following symptoms may result:
- Hot flashes
- Increased activity in the white blood cells
- Low levels of iron
- High levels of C-reactive protein
- IL-1 and IL-6 lymphocyte activation
- Autoimmune conditions
Etiocholanolone levels may be high in these situations:
- PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
- Oversupplementation of DHEA and pregnenalone
- Androgen producing gonadal tumors
- Adult onset or congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- Serious illness / shock – burns
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