Subject-based steroid profiling and the determination of novel biomarkers for DHT and DHEA misuse in sports

Subject-based steroid profiling and the determination of novel biomarkers for DHT and DHEA misuse in sports / Pieter Van Renterghem, Peter Van Eenoo, Pierre-Edouard Sottas, Martial Saugy, Frans Delbeke. - (Drug Testing and Analysis 2 (2010) 11-12 (November); p. 582-588)

  • PMID: 21204290
  • DOI: 10.1002/dta.206
  • Special Issue: 28th Cologne Workshop: Advances in Sports Drug Testing


Doping with natural steroids can be detected by evaluating the urinary concentrations and ratios of several endogenous steroids. Since these biomarkers of steroid doping are known to present large inter-individual variations, monitoring of individual steroid profiles over time allows switching from population-based towards subject-based reference ranges for improved detection. In an Athlete Biological Passport (ABP), biomarkers data are collated throughout the athlete's sporting career and individual thresholds defined adaptively. For now, this approach has been validated on a limited number of markers of steroid doping, such as the testosterone (T) over epitestosterone (E) ratio to detect T misuse in athletes. Additional markers are required for other endogenous steroids like dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). By combining comprehensive steroid profiles composed of 24 steroid concentrations with Bayesian inference techniques for longitudinal profiling, a selection was made for the detection of DHT and DHEA misuse. The biomarkers found were rated according to relative response, parameter stability, discriminative power, and maximal detection time. This analysis revealed DHT/E, DHT/5β-androstane-3α,17β-diol and 5α-androstane-3α,17β-diol/5β-androstane-3α,17β-diol as best biomarkers for DHT administration and DHEA/E, 16α-hydroxydehydroepiandrosterone/E, 7β-hydroxydehydroepiandrosterone/E and 5β-androstane-3α,17β-diol/5α-androstane-3α,17β-diol for DHEA. The selected biomarkers were found suitable for individual referencing. A drastic overall increase in sensitivity was obtained. The use of multiple markers as formalized in an Athlete Steroidal Passport (ASP) can provide firm evidence of doping with endogenous steroids.

Original document


Research / Study
1 December 2010
Delbeke, Frans T.
Saugy, Martial
Sottas, Pierre-Edouard
Van Eenoo, Peter
Van Renterghem, Pieter
Ghent, Belgium: DoCoLab Universiteit Gent-UGent
Analytical aspects
Testing method development
Dihydrotestosterone (17β-hydroxy-5α-androstan-3-one)
Prasterone (dehydroepiandrosterone, DHEA, 3β-hydroxyandrost-5-en-17-one)
Athlete Biological Passport (ABP)
Document category
Scientific article
Document type
Pdf file
Date generated
10 March 2021
Date of last modification
12 March 2021
  • Legal Source
  • Education
  • Science
  • Statistics
  • History
Country & language
  • Country
  • Language
Other filters
  • ADRV
  • Legal Terms
  • Sport/IFs
  • Other organisations
  • Laboratories
  • Analytical aspects
  • Doping classes
  • Substances
  • Medical terms
  • Various
  • Version
  • Document category
  • Document type
Publication period