Information About ACTH Cosyntropin Stimulation Test

Submitted by Nic on October 16, 2012

An ACTH cosyntropin stimulation test is a procedure that is used to measure if your adrenal glands are responding to the ACTH hormone properly or not. The ACTH (Adreno Cortico Trophic Hormone) can be described as a hormone that is formed within your pituitary gland, which stimulates or fuels your adrenal glands in the body, so that it can release cortisol. People may be asked to take the ACTH test in case it is suspected that they may be suffering from certain adrenal gland disorders, like pituitary insufficiency or Addison’s disease.

How this test conducted?

In order to perform the ACTH cosyntropin stimulation test, the medical health incharge will need to measure the levels of cortisol in the patient’s. The level of cortisol in the blood would need to be done both before as also after the ACTH injection has been given. Hence, at first, blood is drawn from the veins and is collected in a vial that is airtight or a tube. The blood is drawn using the normal procedure one would follow to draw blood from the body. There is no worry of an infection as the site from where the blood will be drawn will be cleaned with an antiseptic. The site of the puncture may be covered, in order to stem any bleeding that may occur after the procedure of drawing the blood is complete. After the blood sample has been obtained, the medical health professional injects some cosyntropin. Thereafter, samples and specimen are collected at the required intervals. Before taking the ACTH cosyntropin stimulation test, most patients are required to fast for around 6 hours or so.

What do test results indicate?

It is quite normal for the result of the ACTH cosyntropin stimulation test of your adrenal glands show an increase in the levels of cortisols. After the ACTH stimulation, the levels of cortisol in the blood should be more than 18 micrograms per deciliter, to 20 micrograms per deciliter. It is necessary that you get your ACTH cosyntropin stimulation test results interpreted by your doctor. This is necessary so that you get a clear understanding of any problem and effective treatment could begin at the earliest.

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