ACTH :labtest

Why Get Tested?
To help diagnose adrenal and pituitary diseases such as Cushing’s syndrome, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, adrenal tumors, and pituitary tumors
When to Get Tested?
When you have symptoms associated with excess or deficient cortisol production; when your doctor suspects that you have a hormone imbalance that could be caused by a problem in your pituitary or adrenal glands
Sample Required?
A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm

How is it used?
ACTH levels in the blood are measured to help detect, diagnose, and monitor conditions associated with excessive or deficient cortisol in the body. These conditions include:

Cushing's disease: excess cortisol that is due to an ACTH-producing tumor in the pituitary gland (usually a benign tumor)
Cushing's syndrome: refers to the symptoms and signs associated with excess exposure to cortisol. In addition to Cushing's disease, Cushing's syndrome may be due to an adrenal tumor, adrenal hyperplasia, the use of steroid medications, or due to an ACTH-producing tumor that is ectopic, located outside the pituitary (such as in the lungs).
Addison's disease, primary adrenal insufficiency: decreased cortisol production due to adrenal gland damage
Secondary adrenal insufficiency: decreased cortisol production because of pituitary dysfunction
Hypopituitarism: pituitary dysfunction or damage that leads to decreased (or no) hormone production by the pituitary, including ACTH production
Measuring both ACTH and cortisol can help to differentiate among some of these conditions because the level of ACTH normally changes in the opposite direction to the level of cortisol.

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