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Cortisol Test

Cortisol Test

also known as: Compound F , Hydrocortisone

The test measures the amount of cortisol in a person’s body in sample of urine, blood or saliva. Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland and helps in management of stress (fight or flight response) and aides other systems in the body like the digestive, reproductive and the immune system. The test is used to detect problems in the adrenal and the pituitary glands, in case of excess or insufficient production of the hormone. The level of cortisol varies throughout the day, hence a 24 hour sample in taken in case of urine and saliva, and twice a day in case of a blood sample.

In case of illness, stress and physical activity that can raise the cortisol levels, testing should be avoided. Rest is prescribed the day before, to stabilize cortisol levels. The blood test is usually carried out once in the morning when the cortisol level is normally the highest. In case of saliva test, eating and brushing of teeth should be avoided about half hour before collecting the swab. Certain medications and drugs can affect the level of cortisol in the body and should be checked by the doctor.

Used in the diagnoses of diseases like Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s disease, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) and hypopituitarism. Used in detecting tumors. The results may be affected by medication, pregnancy, steroids and further tests are usually prescribed to get a clearer picture.

The urine test for cortisol is a 24 hour test.
- After initial urination in the morning, the time is noted and the collection is carried out over 24 hours in the specified container, and refrigerated.
- The sample should not be contaminated by feces, menstrual blood.
- The refrigerated sample is used for testing.
The saliva test is taken at night usually when the level of cortisol is the lowest.
- The swab is inserted and moved around in the mouth to collect the saliva.
- The swab should be placed in the container, sealed and tested.
The blood test for cortisol requires samples to be collected twice a day; in the morning and late afternoon.
- A needle is inserted into a vein in the arm and the nozzle is withdrawn to collect a
blood sample.
- Cotton is pressed on the area to stem the blood flow.
- The area is cleaned with an antiseptic wipe.
- A bandage or gauze is pressed over the area.

LimitationsPregnancy, contraceptives, and estrogen therapy give rise to elevated cortisol concentrations.1 In samples from patients who have been treated with prednisolone, methylprednisolone, or prednisone, falsely elevated concentrations of cortisol may be determined.1 During metyrapone tests, 11-deoxycortisol levels are elevated.1 Falsely-elevated cortisol values may be determined due to cross reactions. Patients suffering from 21-hydroxylase-deficiency exhibit elevated 21-deoxycortisol levels and this can also give rise to elevated cortisol levels.1The time of sample collection must be taken into account when interpreting results due to the cortisol secretion circadian rhythm. Severe stress can also give rise to elevated cortisol levels.1As with all tests containing monoclonal mouse antibodies, erroneous findings may be obtained from samples taken from patients who have been treated with monoclonal mouse antibodies or who have received them for diagnostic purposes.1 In rare cases, interference due to extremely high titers of antibodies to streptavidin and ruthenium can occur.1 The test contains additives, which minimize these effects.The determination of cortisol in 24-hour urine is the method of choice for the detection of Cushing syndrome since cortisol excretion in urine is not subject to the diurnal rhythm of cortisol secretion.2
0.8 mL
Red-top tube or gel-barrier tube.
Type Gender Age-Group Value
All age groups
6 - 23 mcg/dl at 8 a.m
Average price range of the test is between Rs.400 to Rs.1700 depending on the factors of city, quality and availablity.

Table of Content

What is Cortisol Test?
Preparation for Cortisol Test
Uses of Cortisol Test
Procedure for Cortisol Test
Limitations of Cortisol Test
Specimen Requirements
Normal values for Cortisol Test
Price for Cortisol Test
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Epidurals can be 

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