* Guidance on sexuality, dyspareunia, reproductive life plans, contraception, and management of recurrent pregnancy complications, such as daily low-dose aspirin to reduce preeclampsia risk and 17a-hydroxyprogesterone
caproate to reduce recurrent preterm birth.
However, its specificity is rather low due to cross-reactivity and interference from other endogenous steroids and lipids., The concentration values obtained by immunoassay tend to be higher than the actual values, particularly for steroid hormones present at low concentrations (e.g., 17a-hydroxyprogesterone), and thus, the reliability of the immunoassay is lower.,,, In addition, immunoassays can only target individual hormones, which limits the efficiency of this approach.
The steroid hormones analyzed included pregnenolone, 17a-hydroxyprogesterone, and corticosterone, which are produced in the zona glomerulosa (ZG) and zona fasciculate (ZF), as well as dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), androstenedione, and free testosterone of the zona reticularis (ZR) of the adrenal cortex.
The levels of 17a-hydroxyprogesterone and pregnenolone in the healthy boys did not vary significantly among the different adrenarche ages, from approximately 6-8 years old (before puberty initiation) to 9 years old.
The level of 17a-hydroxyprogesterone increased obviously with the progression of puberty from stage G1 to G3, and then this increase slowed from stage G4.
In the present study, from adrenarche (6-8 years old) until 9 years of age, pregnenolone levels did not vary significantly nor did the levels of 17a-hydroxyprogesterone. This is because stimulation of the ?4 pathway toward adrenocorticotropin in the ZR is not significant during adrenarche.
After pubertal onset, androgen hormone production by the gonads increases with age, and our results confirmed that the concentrations of pregnenolone, 17a-hydroxyprogesterone, DHEA, androstenedione, and free testosterone increased with the progression of puberty.