Table 144.3Abbreviated Tests of Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal Function

Suspected diagnosisACTH/Cortisola (pg/ml)/(μg/dl)Cosyntropin test cortisolMetyrapone test deoxycortisola (μg/dl)
Normal20–200/5–30Response >7
Peak >18
Addison's disease350–700/0–5No response<1
Secondary hypoadrenalism0–50/0–5Peak <18<10
Cushing's syndromeb
 Cushing's disease100–300/20–40Marked response>20
 Adrenal tumor0–50/20–60No response<1
 Ectopic ACTH300–1000/40–80Marked to absent

Typical hormone values observed.


The diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome established by dexamethasone nonsuppressibility.

From: Chapter 144, Abbreviated Tests of Endocrine Function

Cover of Clinical Methods
Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition.
Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors.
Boston: Butterworths; 1990.
Copyright © 1990, Butterworth Publishers, a division of Reed Publishing.

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