Multiplexed Serum Steroid Profiling Reveals Metabolic Signatures of Subtypes in Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Jaeyoon Shim, Chang Ho Ahn, Seung Shin Park, Jongsung Noh, Chaelin Lee, Sang Won Lee, Jung Hee Kim, Man Ho Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: Altered metabolic signatures on steroidogenesis may characterize individual subtypes of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), but conventional diagnostic approaches are limited to differentiate subtypes. Objective: We explored metabolic characterizations and identified multiple diagnostic biomarkers specific to individual subtypes of CAH. Methods: Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based profiling of 33 adrenal steroids was developed and applied to serum samples obtained from 67 CAH patients and 38 healthy volunteers. Results: Within- and between-run precisions were 95.4% to 108.3% and 94.1% to 110.0%, respectively, while all accuracies were <12% and the correlation coefficients (r2) were > 0.910. Metabolic ratios corresponding to 21-hydroxylase characterized 21-hydroxylase deficiency (21-OHD; n = 63) from healthy controls (area under the curve = 1.0, P < 1 × 10−18 for all) and other patients with CAH in addition to significantly increased serum 17α-hydroxyprogesterone (P < 1 × 10−16) and 21-deoxycortisol (P < 1 × 10−15) levels. Higher levels of mineralocorticoids, such as corticosterone (B) and 18-hydroxyB, were observed in 17α-hydroxylase deficiency (17α-OHD; N = 3), while metabolic ratio of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate to pregnenolone sulfate was remarkably decreased against all subjects. A patient with 11β-hydroxylase deficiency (11β-OHD) demonstrated significantly elevated 11-deoxycortisol and its metabolite tetrahydroxy-11-deoxyF, with reduced metabolic ratios of 11β-hydroxytestosterone/testosterone and 11β-hydroxyandrostenedione/androstenedione. The steroid profiles resulted in significantly decreased cortisol metabolism in both 21-OHD and 17α-OHD but not in 11β-OHD. Conclusion: The metabolic signatures with specific steroids and their corresponding metabolic ratios may reveal individual CAH subtypes. Further investigations with more substantial sample sizes should be explored to enhance the clinical validity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbvad155
JournalJournal of the Endocrine Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Endocrine Society.


  • adrenal steroids
  • congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • cortisol
  • hydroxylase deficiency
  • metabolic signatures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiplexed Serum Steroid Profiling Reveals Metabolic Signatures of Subtypes in Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this