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11-Deoxycortisol Blood Test

Last updated May 4, 2018

Approved by: Maulik P. Purohit MD, MPH

The 11-Deoxycortisol Blood Test measures levels of 11-deoxycortisol in blood. It is used to detect 11ß-hydroxylase abnormalities and other adrenal gland abnormalities.

What are the other Names for this Test? (Equivalent Terms)

  • 11-Deoxycortisol Levels Blood Test
  • Compound S Levels Blood Test
  • Cortodoxone Levels Blood Test

What is the 11-Deoxycortisol Blood Test? (Background Information)

  • 11-Deoxycortisol is a compound that is immediately turned into the stress hormone cortisol. This is carried out by an enzyme called 11ß-hydroxylase (or 11beta-hydroxylase)
  • Cortisol is released by the adrenal glands, which are two pyramid-shaped organs that sit atop each kidney. Cortisol release occurs when the body is in a state of physical or mental exertion
  • 11-Deoxycortisol is made from 17-hydroxyprogesterone by a different enzyme through a separate reaction
  • The 11-Deoxycortisol Blood Test measures levels of 11-deoxycortisol in blood. It is used to detect 11ß-hydroxylase abnormalities and other adrenal gland abnormalities

What are the Clinical Indications for performing the 11-Deoxycortisol Blood Test?

Following are the clinical indications for performing the 11-Deoxycortisol Blood Test:

  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Altered mental status
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

How is the Specimen Collected for the 11-Deoxycortisol Blood Test?

Following is the specimen collection process for 11-Deoxycortisol Blood Test:

Sample required: Blood

Process of obtaining blood sample in adults:

  • A band is wrapped around the arm, 3-4 inches above the collection site (superficial vein that lies within the elbow pit)
  • The site is cleaned with 70% alcohol in an outward spiral, away from the zone of needle insertion
  • The needle cap is removed and is held in line with the vein, pulling the skin tight
  • With a small and quick thrust, the vein is penetrated using the needle
  • The required amount of blood sample is collected by pulling the plunger of the syringe out slowly
  • The wrap band is removed, gauze is placed on the collection site, and the needle is removed
  • The blood is immediately transferred into the blood container, which has the appropriate preservative/clot activator/anti-coagulant
  • The syringe and the needle are disposed into the appropriate “sharp container” for safe and hygienic disposal

Preparation required: No special preparation is needed prior to the test.

What is the Significance of the 11-Deoxycortisol Blood Test Result?

The significance of the 11-Deoxycortisol Blood Test result is explained:

  • High 11-deoxycortisol blood levels may indicate:
    • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)
    • P450cII deficiency
    • Metyrapone administration
  • Low 11-deoxycortisol blood levels may indicate adrenal insufficiency

The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information:

  • Excessive stress prior to testing may interfere with the results of the 11-Deoxycortisol Blood Test

Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.

The following DoveMed website links are some useful resources for additional information:



Please visit our Laboratory Procedures Center for more physician-approved health information:


References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Oct. 30, 2015
Last updated: May 4, 2018