17-Hydroxyprogesterone (17-HO-P) is a steroid hormone from the androgen group found in mammals, reptiles, birds, and other vertebrates. It was first isolated from the adrenal glands of cattle by Pfiffner and North at Parke, Davis and Company in Detroit, Michigan in 19401. The adrenal glands, ovaries, testes, and placenta produce 17-hydroxyprogesterone. 17-HO-P increases in the third trimester of pregnancy.

Steroid Biosynthetic Pathway












17-HO-P is an endogenous progestogen as well as chemical intermediate in the biosynthesis of other steroid hormones, including the corticosteroids, androgens and estrogens. It is derived from progesterone via 17-hydroxylase, a P450c17 enzyme, and from 17-hydroxypregnenolone via 3ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2/Δ5-4 isomerase. It is then hydroxylated at positions 11 and 21 to produce cortisol.

Deficiency of either 11- or 21-hydroxylase results in decreased cortisol synthesis, and feedback inhibition of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) secretion is lost. Consequent increased pituitary release of ACTH will increase 17-HO-P production. A deficiency in either 17-alpha-hydroxylase (which allows synthesis of 17-HO-P from progesterone) or 3ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (which allows development of 17-HO-P from 17-hydroxypregnenolone) may result in low levels of 17-HO-P, with a possible corresponding increase in progesterone or pregnenolone. Normal levels of 17-HO-P in children are 3-90 ng/dL. Normal levels in women prior to ovulation are 20-100 ng/dL, and 100-500 ng/dL during the luteal phase2,3.

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is caused by inherited defects in steroid biosynthesis. The resulting hormone imbalances, reduced glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids, and elevated 17-HO-P and androgens, can lead to life-threatening salt-wasting in the newborn, and alter the development of primary and secondary sex characteristics in affected infants, children, and adults, leading to ambiguous gender assignment and infertility.

Our 17-Hydroxyprogesterone EIA 1-Plate and 5-Plate Kits, K053-H1 and K053-H5, allow for simple, sensitive, and rapid determination of 17-HO-P in urine, extracted serum, plasma, fecal samples, or culture media. Results are obtained in 90 minutes with sensitivity to 20 pg/mL. All reagents are stable at 4°C and supplied in liquid form.

17-Hydroxyprogesterone Typical Standard Curve









  1. Pfiffner JJ, and North , “17-ß-Hydroxyprogesterone” 1940, J.Biol.Chem. 132:459-460.
  2. Abbassi-Ghanavati M, Greer LG, Cunningham “Pregnancy and laboratory studies: a reference table for clinicians.” 2009 Obstet Gynecol. 114:1326-1331.
  3. Kratz A, Ferraro M, Sluss PM, Lewandrowski KB, “Case records of the Massachusetts General Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Laboratory reference values.” 2004, N. Engl. J. Med. 351:1548-1563.


Progesterone EIA Kits, K025-H

Cortisol EIA Kits, K003-H

Corticosterone EIA Kits, K014-H

Cortisone CLIA Kits, K017-C

17ß-Estradiol EIA Kits, K030-H

Estrone EIA Kits, K031-H

PGFM EIA Kits, K022-H

Urinary Creatinine Detection Kits, K002-H

Testosterone EIA Kits, K032-H

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