Sunquest Code:CORT  
Epic Code:LAB61Epic Name:Cortisol
Synonyms:Compound F; Hydrocortisone, Serum; Dexamethasone Suppression Test
Methodology:Chemiluminescent immunoassay
CPT Code:----------CPTCODES HERE----------
Turnaround Time:Performed and reported 24 hours/day.

Collection Instructions

Optimal Volume:2.5 mL
Minimum\Peds Volume:0.6 mL
Container:Red or gold (gel) (Red (no gel))
Collection Instructions:Blood should be collected at 8 AM and 4 PM to evaluate baseline diurnal variation.
Causes for Rejection:Gross hemolysis

Processing and Shipping

Specimen Processing:Centrifuge and aliquot 1.25 mL, 0.2 mL minimum. Store in refrigerator.
Shipping Instructions:Ship at refrigerated temperature to arrive within 48 hours of collection. Alternatively, ship on dry ice.
Stability:Stability: Room temperature - 8 hours; refrigerated - 48 hours; frozen - indefinitely.
Test Performed at or Referral Lab Chemistry  (UMMC-East Bank)


Critical Range:>150.0 µg/dL
Reference Range:

6 months and older

8 AM = 4-22 µg/dL

4 PM = 3-17 µg/dL

8 hrs post 1 mg dexamethasone given at midnight

< 5 µg/dL

30-60 minutes post-25 units Cosyntropin I.V.

>20 µg/dL

Elevated cortisol levels are found in the newborn period. The concentration of serum cortisol attains adult values by the end of the first week of postnatal life and thereafter does not vary with age.


Limitations:Circulating cortisol results from patients receiving Prednisolone or Prednisone therapy may be falsely elevated. Exercise caution with cortisol determinations for patients undergoing therapy with these and structurally related synthetic corticosteroids.
Use:Best used for evaluating adequacy of adrenal or pituitary function.

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