Background: During the last few years there has been a growing interest in research
focused on the metabolism of steroid hormones despite that the study of metabolic hormone pathways
is still a difficult and demanding task because of low steroid concentrations and a complexity
of the analysed matrices. Thus, there has been an increasing interest in the development of new,
more selective and sensitive methods for monitoring these compounds in biological samples.
Methods: A lot of bibliographic databases for world research literature were structurally searched
using selected review question and inclusion/exclusion criteria. Next, the reports of the highest
quality were selected using standard tools (181) and they were described to evaluate the advantages
and limitations of different approaches in the measurements of the steroids and their metabolites.
Results: The overview of the analytical challenges, development of methods used in the assessment
of the metabolic pathways of steroid hormones, and the priorities for future research with a
special consideration for liquid chromatography (LC) and capillary electrophoresis (CE)
techniques have been presented. Moreover, many LC and CE applications in pharmacological and psychological studies
as well as endocrinology and sports medicine, taking into account the recent progress in the area of the metabolic
profiling of steroids, have been critically discussed.
Conclusion: The latest reports show that LC systems coupled with mass spectrometry have the predominant position
in the research of steroid profiles. Moreover, CE techniques are going to gain a prominent position in the diagnosis of
hormone levels in the near future.