How does the cosyntropin test work?

The cosyntropin test is used when adrenal insufficiency is suspected.

At T0, a baseline cortisol level is drawn.

250 mcg of cosyntropin (an ACTH derivative) is administered.

30 minutes later, a repeat cortisol level is drawn.

If the cortisol response is inappropriately low, this suggests adrenal insufficiency.

Further reading: a brief review of the pharmacokinetics of cosyntropin and adrenal insufficiency 



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