Cortisol Blood Test, Random Serum
This Cortisol Blood Test detects excess or deficient cortisol production.
Cortisol, the major adrenal glucocorticoid steroid hormone, is usually under feedback control by pituitary ACTH and the hypothalamus. Causes of low cortisol include pituitary failure or destruction, with resultant loss of ACTH to stimulate the adrenal, and metabolic errors or destruction of the adrenal gland itself (adrenogenital syndromes, tuberculosis, histoplasmosis). The diagnosis of hypoadrenalism usually requires confirmation with ACTH stimulation, due to the circadian rhythms of cortisol and other factors. Causes of increased cortisol, which may initially present as simply a loss of normal diurnal variation, include pituitary overproduction of ACTH, production of ACTH by a tumor (notably oat cell cancers), and adrenal adenomas.
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