Cortisol, Serum, LC-MS/MS
NY State Approved Indicates the status of NY State approval and if the test is orderable for NY State clients.
Second-order testing when cortisol measurement by immunoassay (eg, CORT / Cortisol, Serum) gives results that are not consistent with clinical symptoms, or if patients are known to, or suspected of, taking exogenous synthetic steroids. For confirming the presence of synthetic steroids, order SGSS / Synthetic Glucocorticoid Screen, Serum.
An adjunct in the differential diagnosis of primary and secondary adrenal insufficiency
An adjunct in the differential diagnosis of Cushing syndrome
Testing Algorithm Delineates situation(s) when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.
See Steroid Pathways in Special Instructions.
Special Instructions and Forms Describes specimen collection and preparation information, test algorithms, and other information pertinent to test. Also includes pertinent information and consent forms to be used when requesting a particular test
Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)
Reporting Name A shorter/abbreviated version of the Published Name for a test; an abbreviated test name
Cortisol, S, LC-MS/MS
Cortrosyn Stimulation Test
Cortrosyn Stimulation Test
Specimen Type Describes the specimen type needed for testing
Specimen Required Defines the optimal specimen. This field describes the type of specimen required to perform the test and the preferred volume to complete testing. The volume allows automated processing, fastest throughput and, when indicated, repeat or reflex testing.
Container/Tube: Red top
Specimen Volume: 0.6 mL
Collection Instructions: Morning (8 a.m.) and afternoon (4 p.m.) specimens are preferred.
1. Include time of draw.
2. If multiple specimens are drawn, send separate order for each specimen.
Specimen Minimum Volume Defines the amount of specimen required to perform an assay once, including instrument and container dead space. Submitting the minimum specimen volume makes it impossible to repeat the test or perform confirmatory or perform reflex testing. In some situations, a minimum specimen volume may result in a QNS (quantity not sufficient) result, requiring a second specimen to be collected.
Mild OK; Gross reject
Mild OK; Gross reject
Mild OK; Gross OK
Serum gel tube
Specimen Stability Information Provides a description of the temperatures required to transport a specimen to the laboratory. Alternate acceptable temperature(s) are also included.
|Serum Red||Refrigerated (preferred)||7 days|
Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test
Cortisol, the main glucocorticoid (representing 75%-95% of the plasma corticoids), plays a critical role in glucose metabolism and in the body's response to stress. Both hypercortisolism and hypocortisolism can cause disease.
Cortisol levels are regulated by adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which is synthesized by the pituitary in response to corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH). CRH is released in a cyclic fashion by the hypothalamus, resulting in diurnal peaks (6-8 a.m.) and nadirs (11 p.m.) in plasma ACTH and cortisol levels.
The majority of cortisol circulates bound to corticosteroid-binding globulin and albumin. Normally, <5% of circulating cortisol is free (unbound). Free cortisol is the physiologically active form, and is filterable by the renal glomerulus.
Pathological hypercortisolism due to endogenous or exogenous glucocorticoids is termed Cushing syndrome. Signs and symptoms of pathological hypercortisolism may include central obesity, hypertension, hyperglycemia, hirsutism, muscle weakness, and osteoporosis. However, these symptoms and signs are not specific for pathological hypercortisolism. The majority of individuals with some or all of the symptoms and signs will not suffer from Cushing syndrome.
When Cushing syndrome is present, the most common cause is iatrogenic, due to repeated or prolonged administration of, mostly, synthetic corticosteroids. Spontaneous Cushing syndrome is less common and results from either primary adrenal disease (adenoma, carcinoma, or nodular hyperplasia) or an excess of ACTH (from a pituitary tumor or an ectopic source). ACTH-dependent Cushing syndrome due to a pituitary corticotroph adenoma is the most frequently diagnosed subtype; most commonly seen in women in the third through fifth decades of life. The onset is insidious and usually occurs 2 to 5 years before a clinical diagnosis is made.
Hypocortisolism most commonly presents with nonspecific lassitude, weakness, hypotension, and weight loss. Depending on the cause, hyperpigmentation may be present. More advanced cases and patients submitted to physical stress (ie, infection, spontaneous or surgical trauma) also may present with abdominal pain, hyponatremia, hyperkalemia, hypoglycemia, and in extreme cases, cardiovascular shock and renal failure.
The more common causes of hypocortisolism are:
Primary adrenal insufficiency:
-Congenital adrenal hyperplasia, defects in enzymes involved in cortisol synthesis
Secondary adrenal insufficiency:
-Prior, prolonged corticosteroid therapy
See Steroid Pathways in Special Instructions.
Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.
5-25 mcg/dL (a.m.)
2-14 mcg/dL (p.m.)
Pediatric reference ranges are the same as adults, as confirmed by peer-reviewed literature.
Petersen KE: ACTH in normal children and children with pituitary and adrenal diseases. I. Measurement in plasma by radioimmunoassay-basal values. Acta Paediatr Scand 1981;70:341-345
In primary adrenal insufficiency, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels are increased and cortisol levels are decreased; in secondary adrenal insufficiency both ACTH and cortisol levels are decreased.
When symptoms of glucocorticoid deficiency are present and the 8 a.m. plasma cortisol value is <10 mcg/dL (or the 24-hour urinary free cortisol value is <50 mcg/24 hours), further studies are needed to establish the diagnosis. The 3 most frequently used tests are the ACTH (cosyntropin) stimulation test, the metyrapone test, and insulin-induced hypoglycemia test. First, the basal plasma ACTH concentration should be measured and the short cosyntropin stimulation test performed.
Cushing syndrome is characterized by increased serum cortisol levels. However, the 24-hour urinary free cortisol excretion is the preferred screening test for Cushing syndrome, specifically CORTU / Cortisol, Free, Urine that utilizes liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. A normal result makes the diagnosis unlikely.
Symptoms or signs of Cushing syndrome in a patient with low serum and urine cortisol levels suggest possible exogenous synthetic steroid effects.
Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances
When patients are not taking or are not suspected to be taking exogenous glucocorticoids, the regular assay (CORT / Cortisol, Serum) should be used.
When cortisol assays are used for serial monitoring, the same methodology should be used throughout.
There is little, if any, value in an isolated p.m. serum cortisol measurement.
The most common cause of increased plasma cortisol levels in women is a high circulating concentration of estrogen (ie, estrogen therapy, pregnancy) resulting in increased concentration of corticosteroid-binding globulin. This does not result in an increase in the free, bioactive cortisol fraction. For this reason, measurement of 24-hour urinary free cortisol (CORTU / Cortisol, Free, Urine) or demonstration of absent diurnal variation (ie, by midnight salivary cortisol measurement SALCT / Cortisol, Saliva) are the preferred means of diagnosing spontaneous Cushing syndrome.
Acute stress (including hospitalization and surgery), alcoholism, depression, and many drugs (ie, exogenous cortisones, anticonvulsants) can obliterate normal diurnal variation, affect response to suppression/stimulation tests, and cause elevated baseline levels.
Not recommended for evaluating response to metyrapone; DOC / 11-Deoxycortisol, Serum is more reliable.
A low plasma cortisol level does not give conclusive indication of congenital adrenal hyperplasia. DOC / 11-Deoxycortisol, Serum; OHPG / 17-Hydroxyprogesterone, Serum; and DHEA_ / Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), Serum provide a more accurate and specific determination of the enzyme deficiency.
Clinical Reference Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature
1. Lin CL, Wu TJ, Machacek DA, et al: Urinary free cortisol and cortisone determined by high-performance liquid chromatography in the diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1997;82:151-155
2. Findling JW, Raff H: Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am 2001;30(3):729-747
3. Buchman Al: Side effects of corticosteroid therapy. J Clin Gastroenterol 2001;33(4):289-297
4. Dodds HM, Taylor PJ, Cannell GR, Pond SM: A high-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of cortisol and metabolites in placental perfusate. Anal Biochem 1997;247:342-347
Method Description Describes how the test is performed and provides a method-specific reference
Liquid chromatography with triple quadrapole mass spectrometer:deuterated cortisol (d4-cortisol) is added to each specimen as an internal standard. Cortisol and d4-cortisol are extracted from the samples with methylene chloride and analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry using multiple reaction monitoring. A calibration curve is included with each batch of patient samples.(Taylor RL, Machacek D, Singh RJ: Validation of a high-throughput liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for urinary cortisol and cortisone. Clin Chem 2002;1511-1519)
Day(s) and Time(s) Test Performed Outlines the days and times the test is performed. This field reflects the day and time the sample must be in the testing laboratory to begin the testing process and includes any specimen preparation and processing time required before the test is performed. Some tests are listed as continuously performed, which means assays are performed several times during the day.
Monday through Friday; 2 p.m.
Analytic Time Defines the amount of time it takes the laboratory to setup and perform the test. This is defined in number of days. The shortest interval of time expressed is "same day/1 day," which means the results may be available the same day that the sample is received in the testing laboratory. One day means results are available 1 day after the sample is received in the laboratory.
Maximum Laboratory Time Defines the maximum time from specimen receipt at Mayo Medical Laboratories until the release of the test result
Specimen Retention Time Outlines the length of time after testing that a specimen is kept in the laboratory before it is discarded
Performing Laboratory Location The location of the laboratory that performs the test
Test Classification Provides information regarding the medical device classification for laboratory test kits and reagents. Tests may be classified as cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and used per manufacturer's instructions, or as products that do not undergo full FDA review and approval, and are then labeled as an Analyte Specific Reagent (ASR), Investigation Use Only (IUO) product, or a Research Use Only (RUO) product.
This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
CPT Code Information Provides guidance in determining the appropriate Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code(s) information for each test or profile. The listed CPT codes reflect Mayo Medical Laboratories interpretation of CPT coding requirements. It is the responsibility of each laboratory to determine correct CPT codes to use for billing.
LOINC® Code Information Provides guidance in determining the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) values for the result codes returned for this test or profile.
|Result ID||Reporting Name||LOINC Code|
|84279||Cortisol, S, LC-MS/MS||2143-6|