What are alternatives to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) testing in the workup of pediatric adrenal insufficiency (Addison disease)?

Updated: Dec 07, 2018
  • Author: Kimberly Tafuri, DO; Chief Editor: Sasigarn A Bowden, MD  more...
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Answer

Because the adrenal glands may not have had sufficient time to atrophy in the absence of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation, the relatively cumbersome and risky insulin-tolerance test or metyrapone stimulation test may be preferable to a cosyntropin challenge if the patient has recent-onset (ie, < 10 d) central adrenal insufficiency (Addison disease) (eg, a patient who recently underwent surgery of the hypothalamus or pituitary regions). The insulin-tolerance test is still considered the criterion standard.


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