Cortisol, ACTH Stimulation

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Turnaround Time: 1 - 2 days
CPT Code:


Test Type: 0.8 mL Serum
Stability Time:



Room temperature

14 days


14 days


14 days

Freeze/thaw cycles

Stable x3


This test may involve significant risk and should be performed only by qualified personnel who are familiar with the test and who have taken adequate precautions to protect the safety of the patient. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these recommendations, but clinicians must use their judgment and refer to specific pharmaceutical resources to determine appropriate drug dosages for their patients.

***Available to providers that draw in office only, will not be performed at a PSC ***

Collection Details:

Collection Instructions:

Draw blood for baseline cortisol. Inject cosyntropin 250 μg IM or IV (if IV, dilute cosyntropin in 2-5 mL of sterile saline and inject over two minutes). Draw blood for stimulated cortisol 60 minutes after. See the online Endocrine Appendix: ACTH Stimulation for expected values for various steroids at baseline and after ACTH stimulation.

This test may exhibit interference when sample is collected from a person who is consuming a supplement with a high dose of biotin (also termed as vitamin B7 or B8, vitamin H, or coenzyme R). It is recommended to ask all patients who may be indicated for this test about biotin supplementation. Patients should be cautioned to stop biotin consumption at least 72 hours prior to the collection of a sample.

Red-top tube or gel-barrier tube.

If tube other than a gel-barrier tube is used, transfer separated serum to a plastic transport tube. Note: Label each tube with the patient's name, collection time, and date. Submit specimens simultaneously on the same test request form.

Room temperature.