There are other medicines that may affect the test results,
so talk with your doctor about any medicines you are taking.
What To Think About
The interpretation of the ACTH test is
complicated, because many things can change the results. Blood must be collected
in special tubes, placed on ice, and processed quickly. The time of day when
the blood is drawn can also change the results. ACTH test results should be
compared to medical information gathered from other tests, especially the blood
cortisol level. For more information, see the topic Cortisol in Blood.
Inferior petrosal sinus
sampling is a test that measures the amount of ACTH from a channel (inferior
petrosal sinus) near the pituitary gland. This test may be done along with an
ACTH blood test when the levels of both ACTH and cortisol are high. It is used
to tell the difference between ACTH made by the pituitary gland and ACTH made
somewhere else in the body. This test may only be available at large medical
Other Works Consulted
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis:
Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009).
Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.