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Steroid isolation , depending on context, is the isolation of chemical matter required for chemical structure elucidation, derivitzation or degradation chemistry, biological testing, and other research needs (generally milligrams to grams, but often more  or the isolation of "analytical quantities" of the substance of interest (where the focus is on identifying and quantifying the substance (for example, in biological tissue or fluid). The amount isolated depends on the analytical method, but is generally less than one microgram.  [ page needed ] The methods of isolation to achieve the two scales of product are distinct, but include extraction , precipitation, adsorption , chromatography , and crystallization . In both cases, the isolated substance is purified to chemical homogeneity; combined separation and analytical methods, such as LC-MS , are chosen to be "orthogonal"—achieving their separations based on distinct modes of interaction between substance and isolating matrix—to detect a single species in the pure sample. Structure determination refers to the methods to determine the chemical structure of an isolated pure steroid, using an evolving array of chemical and physical methods which have included NMR and small-molecule crystallography .  : 10–19 Methods of analysis overlap both of the above areas, emphasizing analytical methods to determining if a steroid is present in a mixture and determining its quantity. 
Steroidogenesis begins with internalization of low-density lipoprotein particles and subsequent intracellular processing of cholesterol. Disorders in these steps include adrenoleukodystrophy, Wolman disease, and Niemann–Pick type C disease, which may present as adrenal insufficiency. Cholesterol delivery to the inner mitochondrial membrane is regulated by the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, StAR, and cholesterol is converted to pregnenolone within mitochondria by the cholesterol side chain cleavage enzyme, P450scc. Severe StAR mutations cause classic congenital lipoid adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), characterized by adrenal insufficiency and 46,XY disorders of sexual development (DSD). The lipoid CAH phenotype, including spontaneous puberty in 46,XX females, is explained by a two-hit model. StAR mutations that retain partial function cause milder non-classic disease characterized by glucocorticoid deficiency, with lesser disorders of mineralocorticoid and sex steroid synthesis. Rare P450scc mutations are clinically and hormonally indistinguishable from lipoid CAH, and may also present as milder non-classic disease. Adrenal imaging may distinguish these but is not 100% reliable, necessitating DNA sequencing.