Effects of androstenedione administration on epitestosterone metabolism in men

Effects of androstenedione administration on epitestosterone metabolism in men / Don H. Catlin, Benjamin Z. Leder, Brian D. Ahrens, Caroline K. Hatton, Joel S. Finkelstein. - (Steroids 67 (2002) 7 (June); p. 559-564)

  • PMID: 11996927
  • DOI: 10.1016/s0039-128x(02)00005-3


Androstenedione is a steroid hormone sold over-the-counter to individuals who expect that it will enhance strength and athletic performance. Endogenous androstenedione is the immediate precursor of testosterone. To evaluate the metabolism of oral androstenedione, we randomly assigned 37 healthy men to receive 0 (group 1), 100 mg (group 2), or 300 mg (group 3) of androstenedione in a single daily dose for 7 days. Eight-hour urines were collected 1 day before the start of androstenedione, and on days 1 and 7. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, we measured excretion rates of glucuronide-conjugated epitestosterone, its putative precursor (E-precursor), and metabolites (EM-1 and EM-2), and we evaluated possible markers of androstenedione administration. Day 1 and 7 rates were not different: the means were averaged. The means (microg/h) for groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively were, for epitestosterone 2.27, 7.74, and 18.0; for E-precursor, 2.9, 2.0, and 1.5; for EM-1/E-precursor 0.31, 1.25, and 2.88; for EM-2/E-precursor 0.14, 0.15, and 1.15; for testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) 1.1, 3.5, and 3.2. Epitestosterone, EM-1, and EM-2 excretion was greater in groups 2 and 3 versus group 1 (0.0001 < P < 0.03), as were EM-1/E-precursor, EM-2/E-precursor, and T/E. E-precursor excretion was lower in groups 2 (P = 0.08) and 3 (P = 0.047) versus group 1. Androstenedione increases excretion of epitestosterone and its two metabolites, while decreasing that of its precursor. Elevated ratios of EM-1- and EM-2/E-precursor, and the presence of 6alpha-hydroxyandrostenedione are androstenedione administration markers.

Original document


Research / Study
30 April 2002
Ahrens, Brian
Catlin, Don H.
Finkelstein, Joel s.
Hatton, Caroline K.
Leder, Benjamin Z.
United States of America
Other organisations
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Los Angeles, USA: UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory
Analytical aspects
Mass spectrometry analysis
Doping classes
S1. Anabolic Agents
Androstenedione (androst-4-ene-3,17-dione)
Medical terms
Health effects
Document category
Scientific article
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Pdf file
Date generated
31 March 2021
Date of last modification
1 April 2021
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