Cortisol Response to ACTH Stimulation, Serum

For Specimen Integrity during Extreme Weather see the “Lockbox Usage in Extreme Weather” document at the top of this page.

Test Code

CPT Codes
82533 (x4)

Cortisol Response, Baseline
Cortisol Response, 15 Minutes
Cortisol Response, 30 Minutes
Cortisol Response, 60 Minutes

Preferred Specimen
1 mL serum (x4) collected in red-top tubes (no gel)

Minimum Volume
0.2 mL for each timed specimen

Other Acceptable Specimens
Plasma collected in EDTA (lavender-top) tubes

Draw morning baseline specimen. Administer 250 mcg Cortrosyn. Draw additional specimens at 15, 30 and 60 minutes. For each timed specimen submitted, each tube must be clearly marked with time drawn. Submit all tubes with one test request form.

Quest will accept a baseline and any of the time intervals listed as long as this is indicated on the order and samples clearly labeled with collection times.

Transport Temperature
Room temperature

Specimen Stability
Room temperature: 14 days
Refrigerated: 21 days
Frozen: 1 year

Reject Criteria (Eg, hemolysis? Lipemia? Thaw/Other?)
Gross hemolysis • Serum separator tubes (SST)

Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry

Setup Schedule
Set up: Mon-Sat; Report available: 2-6 days

Reference Range
Cortisol Baseline 5-21 mcg/dL
Cortisol 15 minutes 13-30 mcg/dL
Cortisol 30 minutes 14-36 mcg/dL
Cortisol 60 minutes 14-41 mcg/dL

Clinical Significance
The cortisol response to infusion of synthetic ACTH is useful in diagnosing patients with adrenal insufficiency (Addison's disease).

Performing Laboratory
Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute-San Juan Capistrano, CA
33608 Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675-2042

Last Updated: June 2, 2022

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.