Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Horm Res. 1999;52(2):73-9.

Diagnosis of ACTH deficiency. Comparison of overnight metyrapone test to either low-dose or high-dose ACTH test.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Tennessee, Memphis and Methodist LeBonheur Children's Medical Center, Memphis, TN, USA.


Test sensitivity and accuracy of 250 microg/m(2) ACTH test, 1 microg/m(2) ACTH test, and overnight metyrapone test were evaluated in 158 children at risk for ACTH deficiency. Of 38 given high-dose ACTH, 20 had normal responses to metyrapone and to high-dose ACTH. 14 had low response to metyrapone; of these only 2 had low cortisol response (<550 nmol/l) to high-dose ACTH. Of 120 given low-dose ACTH, 64 had normal responses to metyrapone and to low-dose ACTH. All 24 with low metyrapone response had low or borderline response to low-dose ACTH. The remaining children had an inconclusive metyrapone response. In conclusion, high-dose ACTH misses most diagnoses of ACTH deficiency (21% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 63% accuracy). In contrast, the low dose ACTH test accurately diagnoses 90% of patients with ACTH deficiency (100% sensitivity, 68% specificity). The low-dose ACTH test can serve as an accurate and practical screening test for adequacy of ACTH reserve.

Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk