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Also known as: Adrenocorticotropic hormone; corticotropin
Related tests: Cortisol; Synacthen stimulation test; dexamethasone suppression test

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To diagnose adrenal and pituitary diseases such as Cushing's syndrome, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, adrenal tumours, and pituitary tumours; usually done as a diagnostic test once an abnormal cortisol level is detected

When to Get Tested?

If your doctor has discovered that you have abnormal cortisol levels.  ACTH will help to sort out the possible cause of the abnormal cortisol result.

Sample Required?

A blood sample taken from a vein in your arm

Test Preparation Needed?

The sample is unstable so needs to be collected in a hospital that has laboratory facilities to process it immediately. It cannot usually be collected at a GP surgery. Typically it is taken in the morning, about 9 am.