Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH, corticotropin) is a hormone produced and secreted by the pituitary gland in response to corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which is released by the hypothalamus.
ACTH is primary stimulator of adrenal cortisol production and is used, in conjunction with cortisol tests, to diagnose and monitor conditions associated with excessive or deficient cortisol levels. ACTH and cortisol levels exhibit peaks (6-8 a.m.) and nadirs (11 p.m.).
Abnormal level of ACTH/cortisol may indicate:
– hypercortisolism – Cushing’s syndrome (Cushing’s disease, ectopic ACTH-producing tumour, ectopic CRH, adrenal cortisol-producing tumour, adrenal hyperplasia)
– hypocortisolism (Addison’s disease, secondary adrenal insufficiency, hypopituitarism)
Specialist test please call laboratory for instructions and appointment.
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