Serum Adrenocorticotropic Hormone, ACTH Test
This hormone is synthesized by the pituitary gland and acts on the adrenal gland. Adrenals secrete cortisol, which is the chief hormone controlling stress and glucose metabolism, when stimulated by ACTH.
Cortisol circulates in blood. Most of it is conjugated in the liver and stays in blood as inactive forms. Only a small percentage is active.
The amount of free (active) cortisol in plasma is estimated by the free amount excreted via urine.
Diagnosing the cause of hypercortisolism and hypocortisolism.
Normal Reference Range Values
>= 18 years, 6-50 ng/l
3-17 years, 9-57 ng/l
Interpreting the Test Results
In patients with low cortisol, an elevated adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) indicates primary adrenal problem. If the value is not elevated, it may be secondary adrenal insufficiency, that is have a pituitary or hypothalamic cause.
If cortisol is high, as in Cushing syndrome, a suppressed value may point towards cortisol-producing adrenal adenoma or malignancy.
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH) Lab Report Checker
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