Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) - plasma

Last updated: Tuesday, 06, April, 2004

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Item Process
Specimen

10 mL blood in chilled EDTA tube; plasma separated and frozen immediately.

Method

Immunoassay.

Reference Interval

<50 ng/L (dependent on time of collection).

Application

Investigation of the aetiology of corticosteroid excess or deficiency, as a baseline or as part of a suppression test (eg, dexamethasone, in conjunction with plasma and/or urine cortisol).

See Cushing's syndrome and Adrenocortical insufficiency.

Interpretation

Corticosteroid excess may be associated with high ACTH levels (ectopic or pituitary source) or low levels (adrenal tumour).

Corticosteroid deficiency may be associated with high ACTH levels (primary adrenal insufficiency) or low levels (pituitary deficiency).

Reference

Findling JW and Raff H. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am 2001; 30(3): 729-747.