Pathology Handbook

ACTH

Synonyms

Adrenocorticotrophin

Clinical Indications

Establishing the aetiology of proven Cushing's syndrome or differentiation between primary and secondary adrenal insufficiency (sample taken at 9.00 hrs). ACTH levels are not useful in monitoring steroid replacement therapy.

Request Form 

Request on ICE or use combined Biochemistry/Haematology form

Availability

Analyzed by referral laboratory if specific criteria met.

Specific Criteria

For investigation of proven Cushing's or adrenal insufficiency.

Turnaround Time

2 weeks

Specimen

EDTA Plasma

Volume

2 ml

Container

Vacutainer lemon top

Collection

Samples should be taken between 08.00 and 10.00 hrs and transported to laboratory immediately.

Patients MUST attend Southend hospital for this test

Lab. Handling

Sent to referral laboratory (Barts & Royal London)

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled or incorrectly labelled sample; not meeting specific criteria for analysis; delay in sample reaching laboratory or in wrong sample container

Reference Range

09.00 hrs sample: 10 - 50 ng/L