ACTH, Plasma

Test Code

Alias/See Also

CPT Codes

Preferred Specimen
1.5 mL plasma collected in an EDTA (lavender-top) tube

Patient Preparation
Draw specimen between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. If drawn during any other time, the reference ranges do not apply.

Minimum Volume
0.5 mL

Other Acceptable Specimens
PPT potassium EDTA (white-top) tube

Draw specimens between 7AM and 10AM. If drawn during any other time, the reference ranges do not apply. Centrifuge immediately after collection to separate plasma from cells. Transfer plasma to a plastic specimen transport container and mark the specimen type as plasma on the container. Freeze immediately.
ACTH measurement is not recommended for patients who have been administered cosyntropin (ACTH (1-24)) because the results may be falsely elevated or depressed. Reference: Siemens Healthcare Customer Notification IMC20-04.A.US March 25, 2020.

Transport Temperature

Specimen Stability
Room temperature: 16 hours
Refrigerated: 24 hours
Frozen: 28 days

Reject Criteria (Eg, hemolysis? Lipemia? Thaw/Other?)
Received thawed

Immunoassay (IA)

Setup Schedule
Set up: Mon-Sat; Report available: Same day after receipt at the performing laboratory. Add two (2) days for transport.

With patients receiving more than 5mg/day of biotin, a sample should be taken no sooner than eight hours after previous dose. Patients treated with monoclonal mouse antibodies may have inaccurate results. High titer of antibodies such as streptavidin and ruthenium may cause interference. Due to its correlation with cortisol levels, ACTH concentration is affected by stress. Any single measure may be within the reference range for patients with increased production (Cushing's disease) or minimal production of ACTH.

Reference Range
<3 Years Not established
3-17 Years 9-57 pg/mL
≥18 Years 6-50 pg/mL

Clinical Significance
Determination of ACTH is useful in differentiating between primary and secondary adrenocortical hypo- and hyperfunctional disorders: Addison's Disease, Cushing's Syndrome, Adrenal Carcinoma, Ectopic ACTH Syndrome, Nodular Hyperplasia.

Performing Laboratory
Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute
14225 Newbrook Drive
Chantilly, VA 20153

Last Updated: August 4, 2023

The CPT Codes provided in this document are based on AMA guidelines and are for informational purposes only. CPT coding is the sole responsibility of the billing party. Please direct any questions regarding coding to the payor being billed. Any Profile/panel component may be ordered separately. Reflex tests are performed at an additional charge.