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Table 5 Cortisol and ACTH response by indication for testing

From: Peak cortisol response to corticotropin-releasing hormone is associated with age and body size in children referred for clinical testing: a retrospective review

Indication for testing Presumed GH sufficient short stature (GH ≥ 10 μg/L) Possible GHD (GH < 10 μg/L) Concern for multiple pituitary abnormalities Neoplasm with risk to pituitary Exogenous glucocorticoid exposure Known multiple pituitary abnormalities p-valuea
n 35 33 52 50 35 17  
Baseline cortisol (nmol/L) 231.0 (124.3) 203.3 (136.6) 221.1 (182.0) 199.1 (119.4) 145.7 (139.8) 202.2 (139.6) 0.18
Delta cortisol (nmol/L) 454.9 (168.1) 485.2 (139.7) 399.8 (160.4) 470.2 (189.2) 215.9 (218.4) 349.6 (219.5) <0.0005
Peak cortisol (nmol/L) 685.9 (161.8) 688 .5 (179.8) 620.9 (178.6) 675.8 (138.5) 373.2 (246.1) 552.2 (227.0) <0.0005
Baseline ACTH (pmol/L) 3.2 (1.8) 5.9 (6.6) 4.2 (2.6) 3.6 (1.9) 3.7 (4.1) 4.7 (2.8) 0.036
Delta ACTH (pmol/L) 14.9 (9.3) 23.0 (18.5) 13.2 (11.6) 21.4 (26.6) 6.3 (4.9) 18.3 (25.6) 0.0007
Peak ACTH (pmol/L) 18.1 (9.6) 28.9 (17.9) 17.4 (11.5) 25.0 (27.0) 10.1 (7.5) 23.0 (26.3) 0.0003
Failure Rate (peak cortisol < 500 nmol/L) 11.4 % 9.1 % 21.2 % 6.0 % 62.9 % 29.4 % <0.0005
  1. Data are presented as mean (SD)
  2. aAs determined by ANOVA across indication for testing for cortisol and ACTH values; by Chi-square for Failure Rate