Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS Lab Tests and health information

Order a PCOS test to aid in diagnosing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome by checking testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and Anti-Müllerian hormone levels.

Do you have irregular periods, acne, and excess hair growth?

If so, you may be suffering from PCOS. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition that affects women of reproductive age. It can cause infertility if left untreated. The good news is that there are treatments available to help manage PCOS symptoms and improve your overall health. 

If you want to learn more about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and the lab tests that can help you, click on the title of the articles below.

If you're experiencing symptoms of PCOS, like irregular periods or infertility, it may be time to get tested. But if you don't know where to start, we can help. Our lab tests for PCOS are affordable and easy to order online. We offer a variety of blood tests that will help you and your doctor diagnose the condition quickly and accurately and get started on treatment right away.

You deserve answers about what is going on with your body so that you can take the next step toward feeling better again—and our lab testing makes getting those answers more accessible than ever before. Order your tests today and see how much more confident in yourself you feel when you understand what is causing these issues in the first place. And remember, there are ways to treat a problem once it has been diagnosed correctly! 

Our PCOS lab testing is the perfect solution if you are looking to get affordable lab testing. We provide high-quality, confidential lab tests at an incredibly low price. You can order your tests online and receive results in 24 to 48 hours for most tests from Quest Diagnostics, one of the nation's leading diagnostic laboratories. Our friendly customer service team will be there for you every step of the way if you have any questions about our process or services. And we accept FSA and HSA cards!

Get started today by selecting from the lab tests below. It only takes 5 minutes to order and begin saving money on your healthcare costs. With over 2100 locations nationwide, it's never been easier to find a place near you where we can draw blood samples from your arm so that they can be sent off for analysis at Quest Diagnostics labs across the country.

Choose from the list below to get your blood tests for PCOS. You can take charge of your health this way!


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Description: 17-hydroxyprogesterone is a test that is measuring the levels of 17-OHP in the blood. 17-OHP is used to detect and monitor the treatment processes for congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

Also Known As: 17-OHP Test, 17-OH Progesterone Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a 17-Hydroxyprogesterone test ordered?

The 17-OHP test is regularly ordered as part of a newborn screening and may be repeated if the screening test results are elevated to confirm the initial findings.

When an infant or young kid exhibits signs and symptoms of adrenal insufficiency or CAH, a 17-OHP test may be administered.

When the milder type of CAH is suspected, this test may be ordered in older children or adults. When a girl or woman is having symptoms that could be caused by CAH or another illness, such as PCOS, the 17-OHP test can be used.

Boys and men may be tested if they are experiencing early puberty or infertility.

When a person is diagnosed with 21-hydroxylase deficiency, a 17-OHP test may be ordered on a regular basis to assess treatment effectiveness.

What does a 17-Hydroxyprogesterone blood test check for?

17-hydroxyprogesterone is a steroid hormone that is created during the cortisol production process. This test detects and/or evaluates congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a hereditary disorder characterized by decreased adrenal cortisol and aldosterone production and increased male sex hormone production.

Cholesterol is the source of 17-OHP. It is a precursor of active steroid hormones, rather than an active steroid hormone.

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that aids in the breakdown of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, regulates the immune system, and maintains blood pressure. Other steroid hormones produced by the adrenal glands include aldosterone, which helps regulate salt levels and blood pressure, and androgens, which, like testosterone, cause male sexual characteristics and other consequences.

The processes in the synthesis of cortisol necessitate the use of several enzymes. Inadequate levels of cortisol are produced when one or more of these enzymes are insufficient or malfunctioning, as is the case with CAH. CAH is caused by a partial or total loss of the enzyme 21-hydroxylase, which accounts for around 90% of cases.

The adrenal gland grows in size because a low level of cortisol induces an increase in the level of a specific pituitary hormone that drives adrenal growth and hormone production. The increased size and activity, however, are insufficient to overcome the cortisol production bottleneck. Other chemicals that do not require the faulty enzyme, such as 17-hydroxyprogesterone and androgens, are created in excess. This is why 17-OHP testing can aid in the detection of CAH.

CAH is a set of hereditary illnesses characterized by cortisol-related enzyme deficits and caused by particular gene mutations. A mutation in the 21-hydroxylase gene causes around 90% of CAH cases, which can be diagnosed by an increase in 17-OHP in the blood. When both genes, one from each parent, contain mutations that reduce or cease the activity of the enzyme for which the gene codes, the disease is caused. Parents could be carriers, and carriers could not show any symptoms.

CAH with 21-hydroxylase deficiency can be inherited in two forms: severe and mild.

Severe forms can result in kids being born with severe aldosterone and cortisol deficits, necessitating medical treatment. This severe variant is most commonly found in infancy or early childhood through regular newborn screening. It may manifest in early childhood with signs and symptoms such as vomiting, listlessness, lack of energy, not eating properly, failure to thrive, dehydration, and low blood pressure if it is not found through screening, especially with severe sickness.

Excess male sex hormones can cause the development of male characteristics in females. Female babies' sex organs may not be obviously male or female, making it difficult to tell their gender at first. During childhood and adolescence, females may have excessive hair development on the face and body, as well as other male secondary sexual traits such as irregular menstruation. Men with this disorder may not appear different at birth, but they might develop sexual traits early in life, putting them at risk for fertility problems later in life.

Only partial lack of the enzyme may be present in the milder, though more prevalent type of CAH caused by 21-hydroxylase deficiency. This kind of CAH, also known as late-onset or non-classical CAH, can manifest symptoms at any age during childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. Symptoms might be nonspecific, develop slowly over time, and differ from one person to the next. Though this type of CAH is rarely life-threatening, it can cause growth, development, and puberty issues in children, as well as infertility in adults.

Lab tests often ordered with a 17-Hydroxyprogesterone test:

  • Cortisol
  • ACTH
  • Testosterone
  • Androstenedione
  • Pregnenolone

Conditions where a 17-Hydroxyprogesterone test is recommended:

  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Adrenal Insufficiency
  • Addison Disease
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Infertility

How does my health care provider use a 17-Hydroxyprogesterone test?

The 17-hydroxyprogesterone test is used to detect congenital adrenal hyperplasia and can be used in the conjunction with other tests to diagnose and track CAH.

In the United States, the 17-OHP test is frequently ordered as part of newborn screening to detect CAH caused by a lack of 21-hydroxylase.

The 17-OHP test can be used to screen for CAH in older children and adults before symptoms develop, or to confirm a CAH diagnosis in persons who are already experiencing symptoms.

Diagnosis

The presence of 17-OHP in the blood can help doctors diagnose CAH in older children and people who have a milder, "late-onset" variant of the disease.

A 17-OHP test, along with plasma renin activity, androstenedione, and testosterone assays, may be used to evaluate the success of treatment if someone is diagnosed with 21-hydroxylase insufficiency.

In women with symptoms such as abundant face and body hair and irregular periods, a 17-OHP test, along with other hormone testing, may be done to help rule out CAH. Women with probable polycystic ovarian syndrome and infertility, as well as those with suspected adrenal or ovarian malignancies, fall under this category.

False-positive results have been reported with 17-OHP testing, particularly the newborn screening test. Other tests may be performed if the level is higher but not to the point where it is indicative of CAH.

As a follow-up test, an ACTH test may be ordered. ACTH stimulation causes a significant increase in 17-OHP levels in CAH.

CYP21A2 gene mutations that cause the disorder may be detected by genetic testing.

A karyotype test may be ordered as a follow-up test to discover chromosome problems and to assist in determining the gender of a newborn.

Electrolytes may be ordered to determine the sodium and potassium levels of a person.

What do my 17 Hydroxyprogesterone test results mean?

If a newborn or infant has highly elevated 17-OHP levels, he or she is most likely suffering from CAH. If a person's levels are somewhat elevated, he or she may have a milder case of CAH or an 11-beta-hydroxylase deficiency.

The absence of CAH due to a 21-hydroxylase deficit is most often shown by normal 17-OHP findings.

In a person with CAH, low or declining amounts suggest a positive response to treatment. High or rising levels may suggest that treatment has to be changed.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Androstenedione is useful when evaluating patients with androgen excess and managing patients with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH).

Description: The AMH test is a blood test that checks for Anti Mullerian Hormone in your blood’s serum.

Also Known As: AMH Test, AMH Hormone Test, Mullerian-inhibiting hormone Test, MIH Test, Mullerian Inhibiting Factor Test, MIF Test, Mullerian Inhibiting Substance Test, MUS Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Anti-Mullerian Hormone test ordered?

When a woman's ovarian function, reproductive concerns, especially when considering assisted reproduction techniques like in vitro fertilization, or when a health practitioner wishes to evaluate her chances of entering menopause, an AMH test may be recommended.

When a woman shows indications and symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome, AMH may be ordered.

AMH may be ordered on a regular basis for a woman with AMH-producing ovarian cancer to check therapy effectiveness and recurrence.

When an infant's genitalia is ambiguous or when a male child's testicles have not descended properly, an AMH test may be ordered.

What does an Anti-Mullerian Hormone blood test check for?

Anti-Müllerian hormone is a hormone generated by male and female reproductive tissues, including the testicles and ovaries. The role of AMH, as well as the amount generally present, varies by gender and age. This test detects the presence of AMH in the blood.

AMH is produced by the testicles early in the development of a baby boy, limiting the development of female reproductive organs while boosting the development of other male reproductive organs. AMH levels in boys stay high until adolescence, when they begin to decline.

AMH levels are low in girls, allowing for the development of female reproductive structures. Young females' AMH levels remain low until adolescence, when the ovaries begin to manufacture it and levels rise. AMH will then gradually decrease in women during their reproductive years, eventually becoming undetectable after menopause.

AMH is essential for a woman during her reproductive years. A female contains roughly one million eggs at birth, which normally decline to about 500,000 during infancy. Only a small percentage of these leftover eggs will mature into follicles, one at a time throughout a woman's monthly menstrual cycle. During the process of egg maturation and release, AMH exerts a balancing influence on the monthly cyclical actions of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone. This follicular expansion is reflected in the amount of AMH present.

The AMH level has been demonstrated in studies to be effective in assessing a woman's remaining egg maturation potential and her chances of conceiving. During the childbearing years, AMH decreases gradually, reduces considerably as menopause approaches, and is essentially undetectable after menopause. The level of AMH can be used to assess a woman's current reproductive status and anticipate the beginning of menopause.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome, a disorder affecting the ovaries, has been linked to elevated AMH levels. This syndrome causes unusually excessive levels of AMH to be produced by the extra follicles.

In the fetus, AMH is also important for sexual distinction. A developing fetus might develop either male or female reproductive organs throughout the first several weeks of pregnancy. The two testicles present in a baby boy produce AMH and androgens, which limit the development of female reproductive organs while promoting the growth of other male reproductive organs. Both male and basic female organs may develop if a significant amount of AMH is not accessible or lacking during this process. A baby with ambiguous genitalia may not be recognized as male or female right away.

Some ovarian cancers have high levels of AMH. If the hormone is produced by a tumor, the AMH test can be used as a tumor marker to track therapy effectiveness and check for recurrence.

Lab tests often ordered with an Anti-Mullerian Hormone test:

  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estrogen
  • Estradiol
  • Testosterone Free and Total
  • Progesterone
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

Conditions where an Anti-Mullerian Hormone test is recommended:

  • PCOS
  • Infertility
  • Menopause

How does my health care provider use an Anti-Mullerian test?

Anti-Müllerian hormone is not a commonly requested test, but it can be helpful in some situations.

AMH is a hormone made by the reproductive organs. Its function and the amount that is generally present varies by gender and age.

An AMH test, along with other hormone tests like estradiol and FSH, may be ordered for women of reproductive age to determine how much time they have left to conceive. These tests can also be used to assess ovarian function and possibly forecast when menopause will occur.

AMH may be ordered for a woman who will be having assisted reproduction techniques such as in vitro fertilization; the amount of AMH present is linked to her potential treatment response. A low amount of AMH indicates a poor ovarian response, implying that fewer eggs will be recovered following ovarian stimulation. It's usually ordered in conjunction with additional hormone lab tests and a transvaginal ultrasound scan for this purpose.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome can be diagnosed with an AMH test. Because there are more follicles present, AMH may be raised.

AMH levels are elevated in several ovarian malignancies. If the hormone is initially increased, the test can be used as a tumor marker to assess therapy response and track recurrence.

An AMH test, together with chromosome testing, hormone testing, and sometimes imaging scans, may be requested to help establish the sex of an infant with external genitals that are not distinctly male or female.

What do my Anti Mullerian Hormone test results mean?

A low quantity and quality of eggs with diminishing fertility during a woman's reproductive years may suggest a poor number and quality of eggs, resulting in minimal or less responsiveness to IVF treatment. It could also mean that the ovaries aren't working properly.

A decrease in AMH level and/or a severe fall in AMH could indicate the start of menopause. AMH levels that are negative to low in a female are normal during childhood and after menopause.

Although an elevated level of AMH is frequently associated with PCOS, it is not diagnostic of the illness. Increased AMH may potentially signal a greater or even excessive reactivity to IVF, necessitating a modification of the treatment.

When AMH is used to track the progress of an AMH-producing ovarian cancer, a decrease in AMH suggests a positive response to treatment, whereas an increase could indicate cancer recurrence.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: Apo A1 and B is a blood test that measures that amount of Apolipoprotein A1 and Apolipoprotein B in the blood’s serum along with the ratio between B/A1. This test is used to assess cardiovascular risk. Low levels of APO A1 are associated with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and are said to predict CAD better then triglycerides and HDL does.

Also Known As: Apo A1 and B Test, Apo A1 Test, Apo B Test, APOAB Test, Apolipoprotein B-100 Test, Apolipoprotein Evaluation Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Fasting for 12 hours is required.

When are Apolipoprotein A1 and B tests ordered?

Apolipoprotein A-I and B, as well as other lipid tests, may be ordered as part of a screening to identify a person's risk of cardiovascular disease.

Apo A-I is a protein that plays a key function in lipid metabolism and is the most abundant protein in HDL, or "good cholesterol." Excess cholesterol in cells is removed by HDL, which transports it to the liver for recycling or elimination. Apo A-I levels tend to rise and fall with HDL levels, and apo A-I deficits are linked to an increased risk of CVD.

Apo B is a protein that plays a role in lipid metabolism and is the major protein component of lipoproteins including VLDL and LDL, popularly known as "bad cholesterol." Apo B concentrations are similar to LDL-C concentrations.

What does Apolipoprotein A1 and B blood tests check for?

Lipids are transported throughout the bloodstream by apolipoproteins, which mix with them. Lipoproteins are held together by apolipoproteins, which protect the water-repellent lipids at their core.

Lipoproteins are cholesterol or triglyceride-rich proteins that transport lipids throughout the body for cell absorption. HDL, on the other hand, is like an empty cab or taxi. It travels to the tissues to collect excess cholesterol before returning it to the liver. Cholesterol is either recycled for future use or eliminated in bile in the liver. The only mechanism for cells to get rid of excess cholesterol is by HDL reverse transport. It protects the arteries and, if enough HDL is present, it can even reverse the formation of fatty plaques, which are deposits caused by atherosclerosis and can contribute to cardiovascular disease.

Sticking with the taxi analogy, the driver is Apolipoprotein A. It permits HDL to be detected and bound by receptors in the liver at the end of the transport by activating the enzymes that load cholesterol from the tissues into HDL. Apolipoprotein A is divided into two types: apo A-I and apo A-II. Apo A-I has a higher prevalence than apo A-II. Apo A-I concentrations can be evaluated directly, and they tend to rise and fall in tandem with HDL levels. Deficiencies in apo A-I are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Chylomicrons are lipoprotein particles that transport dietary fats from the digestive system to tissue, primarily the liver, via the bloodstream. These dietary lipids are repackaged in the liver and combined with apo B-100 to create triglyceride-rich VLDL. This combo is similar to a taxi with a full load of passengers and apo B-100 as the driver. The taxi moves from place to place in the bloodstream, releasing one passenger at a time.

Triglycerides are removed from VLDL by an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase, which produces intermediate density lipoproteins first, then LDL. VLDL contains one molecule of apo B-100, which is kept as VLDL loses triglycerides and shrinks to become the cholesterol-rich LDL. Apo B-100 is detected by receptors on the surface of many different types of cells in the body. The absorption of cholesterol into cells is aided by these receptors.

LDL and apo B-100 transport cholesterol that is essential for cell membrane integrity, sex hormone generation, and steroid production. Excess LDL, on the other hand, can cause fatty deposits in artery walls, as well as blood vessel hardening and scarring. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which fatty deposits restrict blood arteries. The risk of a heart attack increases as the atherosclerotic process progresses.

LDL-C levels, which are typically ordered as part of a lipid profile, tend to mimic Apo B-100 levels. Many experts believe that apo B levels will eventually show to be a more accurate predictor of CVD risk than LDL-C. Others disagree, believing that vitamin B is only a modestly superior choice and that it should not be used on a regular basis. The clinical utility of apo B, as well as other developing cardiac risk markers including apo A-I, Lp(a), and hs-CRP, is still unknown.

Lab tests often ordered with Apolipoprotein A1 and B tests:

  • Cholesterol Total
  • HDL Cholesterol
  • LDL Cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • Lipid Panel
  • Lipoprotein (a)
  • Homocysteine
  • hs-CRP
  • Lipoprotein Fractionation, Ion Mobility

Conditions where Apolipoprotein A1 and B tests are recommended:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Angina

How does my health care provider use Apolipoprotein A1 and B tests?

An apo B/apo A-I ratio can be determined by ordering both an apo A-I and an apo B test. To assess the risk of developing CVD, this ratio is sometimes used instead of the total cholesterol/HDL ratio.

An apo A-I test may be ordered in the following situations:

Assist in the diagnosis of apo A-I deficiency caused by genetic or acquired diseases.

Assist those with a personal or family history of heart disease, high cholesterol, or triglycerides in their blood.

Keep track of how well lifestyle changes and lipid therapies are working.

An apo A-I test can be ordered in conjunction with an apo B test to determine the apo B/apo A-I ratio. This ratio is occasionally used instead of the total cholesterol/HDL ratio to assess the risk of developing CVD.

As an alternative to non-HDL-C, Apo B levels may be ordered to assess the success of lipid treatment.

An apo B test may be conducted in rare circumstances to assist determine a genetic issue that causes apo B overproduction or underproduction.

What do my Apolipoprotein A1 and B test results mean?

Low apo A-I levels are linked to low HDL levels and slowed elimination of excess cholesterol from the body. Low levels of apo A-I, as well as high levels of apo B, are linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Deficiencies in apo A-I are caused by a number of hereditary diseases. Abnormal lipid levels, notably excessive amounts of low-density lipoprotein, are common in people with certain illnesses. They frequently have a higher rate of atherosclerosis. Low apo A-I levels are caused by several genetic diseases.

Raised apo B levels are linked to elevated LDL-C and non-HDL-C levels, and are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Elevations may be caused by a high-fat diet and/or a reduction in LDL clearance from the blood.

A direct cause of abnormal apo B levels is some hereditary diseases. Familial combined hyperlipidemia, for example, is an inherited condition that causes excessive cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Apolipoprotein B deficiency, also known as Bassen-Kornzweig syndrome, is a relatively rare hereditary disorder that results in unusually low amounts of apo B.

A variety of underlying diseases and other factors might result in abnormal apo B levels.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: The CRP test is used to identify and/or monitor inflammation in patients.

Also Known As: CRP Test, Inflammation test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a C-Reactive Protein test ordered?

When a person's medical history and signs and symptoms indicate that they may have a significant bacterial infection, a CRP test may be recommended. When a newborn displays signs of infection or when a person has sepsis symptoms including fever, chills, and rapid breathing and heart rate, it may be ordered.

It's also commonly requested on a regular basis to check illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, and it's routinely repeated to see if medication is working. This is especially effective for inflammation issues because CRP levels decrease as inflammation decreases.

What does a C-Reactive Protein blood test check for?

C-reactive protein is a protein produced by the liver and released into the bloodstream within a few hours following tissue injury, infection, or other inflammatory event. After trauma or a heart attack, with active or uncontrolled autoimmune illnesses, and with acute bacterial infections like sepsis, markedly higher levels are reported. CRP levels can rise by a thousand-fold in response to inflammatory diseases, and their elevation in the blood can occur before pain, fever, or other clinical signs. The test detects inflammation caused by acute situations or monitors disease activity in chronic diseases by measuring the level of CRP in the blood.

The CRP test is not a diagnostic tool, although it can tell a doctor if inflammation is occurring. This information can be combined with other indicators like signs and symptoms, a physical exam, and other tests to establish whether someone has an acute inflammatory disorder or is having a flare-up of a chronic inflammatory disease. The health care provider may next do additional tests and treatment.

This CRP test should not be confused with the hs-CRP test. These are two separate CRP tests, each of which measures a different range of CRP levels in the blood for different purposes.

Lab tests often ordered with a C-Reactive Protein test:

  • Sed Rate (ESR)
  • Procalcitonin
  • ANA
  • Rheumatoid Factor
  • Complement

Conditions where a C-Reactive Protein test is recommended:

  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Sepsis
  • Vasculitis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Meningitis and Encephalitis

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a C-Reactive Protein test?

A health practitioner uses the C-reactive protein test to diagnose inflammation. CRP is an acute phase reactant, a protein produced by the liver and released into the bloodstream within a few hours following tissue injury, infection, or other inflammatory event. The CRP test is not a diagnostic test for any ailment, but it can be used in conjunction with other tests to determine whether a person has an acute or chronic inflammatory disorder.

CRP, for example, can be used to detect or track substantial inflammation in someone who is suspected of having an acute ailment like:

  • Sepsis is a dangerous bacterial infection.
  • An infection caused by a fungus
  • Inflammation of the pelvis

People with chronic inflammatory diseases can use the CRP test to detect flare-ups and/or see if their medication is working. Here are a few examples:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Arthritis, which can take many forms.
  • Autoimmune disorders, examples include lupus and vasculitis

CRP is occasionally requested in conjunction with an erythrocyte sedimentation rate, another inflammatory test. While the CRP test is not specific enough to diagnose an illness, it does serve as a broad marker for infection and inflammation, alerting doctors to the need for more testing and treatment. A variety of additional tests may be used to determine the source of inflammation, depending on the probable cause.

What do my C-Reactive Protein test results mean?

CRP levels in the blood are usually low.

CRP levels in the blood that are high or rising indicate the existence of inflammation, but they don't tell you where it is or what's causing it. A high CRP level can establish the presence of a severe bacterial infection in people who are suspected of having one. High levels of CRP in persons with chronic inflammatory disorders indicate a flare-up or that treatment isn't working.

When the CRP level rises and then falls, it indicates that the inflammation or infection is diminishing and/or responding to treatment.

Is there anything else I should know about C-Reactive Protein?

CRP levels can rise during pregnancy, as well as with the use of birth control tablets or hormone replacement therapy. Obese people have also been found to have higher CRP levels.

In the presence of inflammation, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate test will also rise; however, CRP rises first and then falls faster than the ESR.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A hs-CRP or High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein test is a blood test used to accurately detect lower concentrations of the protein C-Reactive Protein. This test is used to evaluate your risk of cardiovascular and heart disease and to check for inflammation and many other issues.

Also Known As: hsCRP Test, Cardiac CRP Test, high sensitivity C-reactive protein Test, CRP Test for heart disease.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a hs-CRP test ordered?

There is currently no consensus on when to get an hs-CRP test. It may be beneficial for treatment purposes to order hs-CRP for those that have kidney disease, diabetes or inflammatory disorders.

It's possible that hs-CRP will be tested again to confirm that a person has persistently low levels of inflammation.

What does a hs-CRP blood test check for?

C-reactive protein is a protein found in the blood that rises in response to infection and inflammation, as well as after trauma, surgery, or a heart attack. As a result, it's one of numerous proteins referred to as acute phase reactants. The high-sensitivity CRP test detects low levels of inflammation in the blood, which are linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

According to the American Heart Association, CVD kills more people in the United States each year than any other cause. A number of risk factors have been related to the development of CVD, including family history, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, being overweight or diabetic, however a considerable number of people with few or no recognized risk factors will also acquire CVD. This has prompted researchers to investigate for new risk variables that could be causing CVD or could be used to identify lifestyle modifications and/or treatments that could lower a person's risk.

High-sensitivity CRP is one of an increasing number of cardiac risk markers that may be used to assess an individual's risk. According to certain research, monitoring CRP with a highly sensitive assay can assist identify the risk level for CVD in persons who appear to be healthy. CRP levels at the higher end of the reference range can be measured with this more sensitive test. Even when cholesterol levels are within an acceptable range, these normal but slightly elevated levels of CRP in otherwise healthy persons might indicate the future risk of a heart attack, sudden cardiac death, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.

Lab tests often ordered with a hs-CRP test:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Lipid Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Lp-Pla2
  • Glucose

Conditions where a hs-CRP test is recommended:

  • Heart Attack
  • Heart Disease
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Stroke

How does my health care provider use a hs-CRP test?

A test for high-sensitivity C-reactive protein can be used to assess a person's risk of cardiovascular disease. It can be used in conjunction with a lipid profile or other cardiac risk markers, such as the lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 test, to provide further information regarding the risk of heart disease.

CRP is a protein that rises in the bloodstream as a result of inflammation. A continuous low level of inflammation, according to studies, plays a crucial role in atherosclerosis, the narrowing of blood vessels caused by the build-up of cholesterol and other lipids, which is typically linked to CVD. The hs-CRP test successfully detects low levels of C-reactive protein, indicating low but chronic inflammation, and so aids in predicting a person's risk of developing CVD.

Some specialists believe that high-sensitivity CRP is a good test for assessing CVD, heart attacks, and stroke risk, and that it can help in the evaluation process before a person gets one of these health problems. Some experts believe that combining a good marker for inflammation, such as hs-CRP, with a lipid profile is the best way to predict risk. This test has been recommended by several organizations for persons who are at a moderate risk of having a heart attack in the following ten years.

What does my hs-CRP test result mean?

Even when cholesterol levels are within an acceptable range, high levels of hs-CRP in otherwise healthy people have been found to predict an elevated risk of future heart attacks, strokes, sudden cardiac death, and/or peripheral arterial disease.

Higher hs-CRP concentrations indicate a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, while lower values indicate a lower risk. Individuals with hs-CRP values at the high end of the normal range are 1.5 to 4 times more likely than those with low levels of hs-CRP to have a heart attack.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: Ion Mobility Lipoprotein Fractionation is a test that uses a gas-phase technology to separate the lipid particles by size. As each particle is separated, they are counted.

Also Known As: LDL Particle Testing, LDL-P Test, LDL Subclass Test, sdLDL Test, LDL Fractionations Test, LDL Particle Size Test, LDL Particle Number Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Fasting preferred, but not required

When is a Lipoprotein Fractionation test ordered?

When someone has a personal or family history of early cardiovascular disease, this testing may be ordered as part of an overall evaluation of cardiac risk, especially if the person does not have typical cardiac risk factors like high cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol, high triglyceride, low HDL cholesterol, smoking, obesity, inactivity, diabetes, and/or hypertension.

When a person with elevated LDL-P and/or a high proportion of tiny, dense LDL particles has undertaken cholesterol-lowering treatment or lifestyle adjustments, the healthcare practitioner may conduct LDL lipoprotein subfraction testing, as well as other lipid tests, to assess treatment success.

Although LDL-P is not typically suggested as a screening test, some healthcare practitioners are using it in conjunction with a battery of other cardiac risk tests to evaluate a person's overall risk of getting CVD.

What does a Lipoprotein Fractionation blood test check for?

Low-density lipoproteins are lipid-transporting particles that travel throughout the body. Protein, cholesterol, triglyceride, and phospholipid molecules are all present in each particle. As they move through the bloodstream, their makeup changes. Lipoprotein particles range in size from large and fluffy to small and dense, depending on which molecules are eliminated and which are added. The relative amounts of particles with different characteristics in the blood are determined by LDL particle testing. Subfractionation testing is a term used to describe this process.

Traditional lipid testing determines the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood but does not assess the number of LDL particles. Increased numbers of small, dense LDL particles have been linked to inflammation and are more likely to produce atherosclerosis than fewer light, fluffy LDL particles, according to some research. Researchers believe that the existence of an elevated quantity of sdLDL could be one of the reasons why some people have heart attacks while having relatively low total and LDL cholesterol levels.

The number of sdLDL particles in a person's blood is determined in part by genetics, in part by sex, and in part by lifestyle and overall health. Increased levels of sdLDL are linked to certain diseases and disorders, like as diabetes and hypertension.

By examining a person's triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, it is usually able to estimate whether they have a high amount of sdLDL particles. Typically, these tests are done as part of a lipid profile. People with high triglycerides and low HDL-C have higher levels of sdLDL. More sdLDL is connected with a triglyceride level greater than 120 mg/dL and an HDL-C level less than 40 mg/dL in men and less than 50 mg/dL in women.

Other lipoprotein particles, such as HDL and VLDL, can also be subfractionated, however these tests are generally utilized in research settings and are not discussed on this page.

Lab tests often ordered with a Lipoprotein Fractionation test:

  • Lipid Panel
  • HDL Cholesterol
  • LDL Cholesterol
  • Direct LDL
  • Apolipoprotein A-1
  • Apolipoprotein B
  • Lipoprotein (a)
  • Triglycerides
  • Homocysteine
  • Hs-CRP
  • VAP

Conditions where a Lipoprotein Fractionation test is recommended:

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Heart Disease

How does my health care provider use a Lipoprotein Fractionation test?

Low-density lipoprotein particle testing determines the number, size, density, and/or electrical charge of LDL particles. It may be useful in determining cardiac risk in patients with a personal or family history of heart disease at a young age, particularly if their total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels are not markedly increased. LDL subfraction testing is usually done in conjunction with or after a lipid profile.

While the LDL-C test is a good predictor of cardiovascular disease risk for many people, research has indicated that certain persons with healthy LDL-C levels nonetheless have an increased risk of CVD. Similarly, even if their LDL-C is at a safe level, people with chronic diseases like diabetes may be at higher risk. The quantity of LDL particles and/or their size has been recommended as an additional factor to consider when assessing CVD risk in these populations. Lipoprotein subfraction testing may be done in these situations to further assess a person's CVD risk.

LDL-P is sometimes requested to see how well a treatment is working at reducing the quantity of tiny, dense LDL particles.

LDL subfraction testing has been employed in clinical settings, although VLDL or HDL subfraction testing is primarily used in research. This is because LDL cholesterol has been established as the key risk factor for heart disease, and LDL assessment has received increased attention in research and development.

What do my Lipoprotein Fractionation test results mean?

The method and reporting format utilized in an LDL-P test, as well as the person's total cholesterol, LDL-C, VLDL, and/or HDL cholesterol, are all reflected in the results. Because different methods divide subclasses based on different physical qualities, results may not be immediately comparable from one method to the next or from one laboratory to the next.

Usually, the result is evaluated in context of a lipid profile and the risk it implies:

  • If a person has a high number of mostly tiny, dense LDL and an elevated LDL-P, this result will enhance the person's risk of cardiovascular disease beyond the risk associated with total LDL.
  • If a person only has large, fluffy LDL and a low LDL-P, this discovery will not put them at any greater risk.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel or CMP is a blood test that is a combination of a Basic Metabolic Panel, a Liver Panel, and electrolyte panel, and is used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor a variety of conditions and diseases such as liver disease, diabetes, and kidney disease. 

Also Known As: CMP, Chem, Chem-14, Chem-12, Chem-21, Chemistry Panel, Chem Panel, Chem Screen, Chemistry Screen, SMA 12, SMA 20, SMA 21, SMAC, Chem test

Collection Method: 

Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: 

Serum 

Test Preparation: 

9-12 hours fasting is preferred. 

When is a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test ordered:  

A CMP is frequently requested as part of a lab test for a medical evaluation or yearly physical. A CMP test consists of many different tests that give healthcare providers a range of information about your health, including liver and kidney function, electrolyte balance, and blood sugar levels. To confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis, abnormal test results are frequently followed up with other tests that provide a more in depth or targeted analysis of key areas that need investigating. 

What does a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel blood test check for? 

The complete metabolic panel (CMP) is a set of 20 tests that provides critical information to a healthcare professional about a person's current metabolic status, check for liver or kidney disease, electrolyte and acid/base balance, and blood glucose and blood protein levels. Abnormal results, particularly when they are combined, can suggest a problem that needs to be addressed. 

The following tests are included in the CMP: 

  • Albumin: this is a measure of Albumin levels in your blood. Albumin is a protein made by the liver that is responsible for many vital roles including transporting nutrients throughout the body and preventing fluid from leaking out of blood vessels. 

  • Albumin/Globulin Ratio: this is a ratio between your total Albumin and Globulin  

  • Alkaline Phosphatase: this is a measure of Alkaline phosphatase or ALP in your blood. Alkaline phosphatase is a protein found in all body tissues, however the ALP found in blood comes from the liver and bones. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage, gallbladder disease, or bone disorder. 

  • Alt: this is a measure of Alanine transaminase or ALT in your blood. Alanine Aminotransferase is an enzyme found in the highest amounts in the liver with small amounts in the heart and muscles. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage. 

  • AST: this is a measure of Aspartate Aminotransferase or AST. Aspartate Aminotransferase is an enzyme found mostly in the heart and liver, with smaller amounts in the kidney and muscles. Elevated levels are often associated with liver damage. 

  • Bilirubin, Total: this is a measure of bilirubin in your blood. Bilirubin is an orange-yellowish waste product produced from the breakdown of heme which is a component of hemoglobin found in red blood cells. The liver is responsible for removal of bilirubin from the body. 

  • Bun/Creatinine Ratio: this is a ratio between your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and Creatinine result.  

  • Calcium: this is a measurement of calcium in your blood. Calcium is the most abundant and one of the most important minerals in the body as it essential for proper nerve, muscle, and heart function. 

  • Calcium: is used for blood clot formation and the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth. 

  • Carbon Dioxide: this is a measure of carbon dioxide in your blood. Carbon dioxide is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as chloride, potassium, and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels.  

  • Chloride: this is a measure of Chloride in your blood. Chloride is a negatively charged electrolyte that works with other electrolytes such as potassium and sodium to regulate the body’s acid-base balance and fluid levels. 

  • Creatinine: this is a measure of Creatinine levels in your blood. Creatinine is created from the breakdown of creatine in your muscles and is removed from your body by the kidneys. Elevated creatinine levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

  • Egfr African American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Egfr Non-Afr. American: this is a measure of how well your kidneys are functioning. Glomeruli are tiny filters in your kidneys that filter out waste products from your blood for removal while retaining important substances such as nutrients and blood cells. 

  • Globulin: this is a measure of all blood proteins in your blood that are not albumin. 

  • Glucose: this is a measure of glucose in your blood. Glucose is created from the breakdown of carbohydrates during digestion and is the body’s primary source of energy. 

  • Potassium: this is a measure of Potassium in your blood. Potassium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in cell metabolism, nerve and muscle function, and transport of nutrients into cells and removal of wastes products out of cells. 

  • Protein, Total: this is a measure of total protein levels in your blood. 
    Sodium: this is a measure of Sodium in your blood. Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a vital role in nerve and muscle function. 

  • Sodium: this is a measure of sodium in your blood's serum. Sodium is a vital mineral for nerve and muscle cell function.

  • Urea Nitrogen (Bun): this is a measure of Urea Nitrogen in your blood, also known as Blood UreaNitrogen (BUN). Urea is a waste product created in the liver when proteins are broken down into amino acids. Elevated levels are often associated with kidney damage. 

Lab tests often ordered with a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test: 

  • Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
  • Lipid Panel
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate
  • Prothrombin with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times
  • Sed Rate (ESR)
  • C-Reactive Protein

Conditions where a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test is recommended: 

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Hypertension

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test? 

The comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a broad screening tool for assessing organ function and detecting diseases like diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease. The CMP test may also be requested to monitor known disorders such as hypertension and to check for any renal or liver-related side effects in persons taking specific drugs. If a health practitioner wants to follow two or more separate CMP components, the full CMP might be ordered because it contains more information. 

What do my Comprehensive Metabolic Panel test results mean? 

The results of the tests included in the CMP are usually analyzed together to look for patterns. A single abnormal test result may indicate something different than a series of abnormal test findings. A high result on one of the liver enzyme tests, for example, is not the same as a high result on several liver enzyme tests. 

Several sets of CMPs, frequently performed on various days, may be examined to gain insights into the underlying disease and response to treatment, especially in hospitalized patients. 

Out-of-range findings for any of the CMP tests can be caused by a variety of illnesses, including kidney failure, breathing issues, and diabetes-related complications, to name a few. If any of the results are abnormal, one or more follow-up tests are usually ordered to help determine the reason and/or establish a diagnosis. 

Is there anything else I should know? 

A wide range of prescription and over-the-counter medications can have an impact on the results of the CMP's components. Any medications you're taking should be disclosed to your healthcare professional. Similarly, it is critical to provide a thorough history because many other circumstances can influence how your results are interpreted. 

What's the difference between the CMP and the BMP tests, and why would my doctor choose one over the other? 

The CMP consists of 14 tests, while the basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a subset of those with eight tests. The liver (ALP, ALT, AST, and bilirubin) and protein (albumin and total protein) tests are not included. If a healthcare provider wants a more thorough picture of a person's organ function or to check for specific illnesses like diabetes or liver or kidney disease, he or she may prescribe a CMP rather than a BMP. 

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

Please note the following regarding BUN/Creatinine ratio: 

The lab does not report the calculation for the BUN/Creatinine Ratio unless one or both biomarkers’ results fall out of the published range. 

If you still wish to see the value, it's easy to calculate. Simply take your Urea Nitrogen (BUN) result and divide it by your Creatinine result.  

As an example, if your Urea Nitrogen result is 11 and your Creatinine result is 0.86, then you would divide 11 by 0.86 and get a BUN/Creatinine Ratio result of 12.79. 


Description: A cortisol test measures the amount of cortisol in the blood. These levels will start off high in the morning and throughout the say they become lower. At midnight they are typically at their lowest level. Someone who works a night shift or has an irregular sleep schedule may have a different pattern. This test can be used to determine Cushing's or Addison's Disease.

Also Known As: Cortisol Total Test, Cortisol 2 Specimen Test, 2 Specimen Cortisol Test, Cortisol Blood Test, Cortisol Serum Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Cortisol 2 Specimen test ordered?

When a person has symptoms that point to a high level of cortisol and Cushing syndrome, a cortisol test may be recommended.

Women with irregular menstrual periods and increased facial hair may be tested, and children with delayed development and small stature may also be tested.

When someone exhibits symptoms that point to a low cortisol level, adrenal insufficiency, or Addison disease, this test may be ordered.

What does a Cortisol 2 Specimen blood test check for?

Cortisol is a hormone that plays a function in protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism. It has an effect on blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and immune system regulation. Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced into the urine and found in the saliva. This test determines how much cortisol is present in the blood, urine, or saliva.

Cortisol levels in the blood usually rise and fall in a pattern known as "diurnal variation." It reaches its highest point early in the morning, then gradually decreases over the day, reaching its lowest point around midnight. When a person works irregular shifts and sleeps at different times of the day, this rhythm might fluctuate, and it can be disrupted when a disease or condition inhibits or stimulates cortisol production.

The adrenal glands, two triangle organs that sit on top of the kidneys, generate and emit cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Cushing syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms associated with an unusually high cortisol level. Cortisol production may be increased as a result of:

  • Large doses of glucocorticosteroid hormones are given to treat a range of ailments, including autoimmune illness and certain cancers.
  • Tumors that produce ACTH in the pituitary gland and/or other regions of the body.
  • Cortisol production by the adrenal glands is increased as a result of a tumor or abnormal expansion of adrenal tissues.

Rarely, CRH-producing malignancies in various regions of the body.

Cortisol production may be reduced as a result of:

  • Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by an underactive pituitary gland or a pituitary gland tumor that prevents ACTH production.
  • Primary adrenal insufficiency, often known as Addison disease, is characterized by underactive or injured adrenal glands that limit cortisol production.

After quitting glucocorticosteroid hormone medication, especially if it was abruptly stopped after a long time of use.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cortisol 2 Specimen test:

  • Cortisol Saliva
  • ACTH
  • Aldosterone
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Growth Hormone

Conditions where a Cortisol 2 Specimen test is recommended:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary Disorders

How does my health care provider use a Cortisol 2 Specimen test?

A cortisol test can be used to detect Cushing syndrome, which is characterized by an excess of cortisol, as well as adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease, which are characterized by a deficiency of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism, among other functions. Cortisol levels in the blood normally increase and fall in a "diurnal variation" pattern, rising early in the morning, dropping during the day, and reaching their lowest point around midnight.

The adrenal glands generate and excrete cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Blood cortisol testing assesses both protein-bound and free cortisol, but urine and saliva cortisol testing assesses only free cortisol, which should be in line with blood cortisol levels. Multiple blood and/or saliva cortisol levels collected at various times, such as 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., can be used to assess cortisol levels and diurnal variation. A 24-hour urine cortisol sample will not reveal diurnal variations; instead, it will assess the total quantity of unbound cortisol voided over the course of 24 hours.

If an elevated amount of cortisol is found, a health professional will conduct additional tests to confirm the results and discover the cause.

If a person's blood cortisol level is abnormally high, a doctor may order additional tests to be sure the high cortisol is indeed abnormal. Additional testing could involve monitoring 24-hour urinary cortisol, doing an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and/or obtaining a salivary sample before sleep to detect cortisol at its lowest level. Urinary cortisol testing necessitates collecting urine over a set length of time, usually 24 hours. Because ACTH is released in pulses by the pituitary gland, this test can assist evaluate whether a raised blood cortisol level is a true rise.

An ACTH stimulation test may be ordered if a health practitioner feels that the adrenal glands are not releasing enough cortisol or if initial blood tests reveal insufficient cortisol production.

ACTH stimulation is a test that measures the amount of cortisol in a person's blood before and after a synthetic ACTH injection. Cortisol levels will rise in response to ACTH stimulation if the adrenal glands are functioning normally. Cortisol levels will be low if they are damaged or not working properly. To distinguish between adrenal and pituitary insufficiency, a lengthier variant of this test can be used.

What do my Cortisol Total test results mean?

Cortisol levels are typically lowest before bedtime and highest shortly after awakening, though this pattern can be disrupted if a person works rotating shifts and sleeps at various times on separate days.

Excess cortisol and Cushing syndrome are indicated by an increased or normal cortisol level shortly after awakening, as well as a level that does not diminish by bedtime. If the excess cortisol is not suppressed after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, the 24-hour urine cortisol is elevated, or the late-night salivary cortisol level is elevated, the excess cortisol is likely due to abnormal increased ACTH production by the pituitary or a tumor outside of the pituitary, or abnormal production by the adrenal glands. Additional tests will aid in determining the root of the problem.

If the person examined responds to an ACTH stimulation test and has insufficient cortisol, the problem is most likely due to insufficient ACTH production by the pituitary. If the person does not respond to the ACTH stimulation test, the problem is most likely to be with the adrenal glands. Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands are underactive as a result of pituitary dysfunction and/or insufficient ACTH synthesis. Adrenal injury causes decreased cortisol production, which is referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease.

Once an irregularity has been found and linked to the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or another source, the health practitioner may utilize additional testing, such as a CT scan, to determine the extent of any gland damage.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A cortisol test measures the amount of cortisol in the blood. These levels will start off high in the morning and throughout the say they become lower. At midnight they are typically at their lowest level. Someone who works a night shift or has an irregular sleep schedule may have a different pattern. This test can be used to determine Cushing's or Addison's Disease.

Also Known As: Cortisol Total Test, Cortisol 3 Specimen Test, 3 Specimen Cortisol Test, Cortisol Blood Test, Cortisol Serum Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Cortisol 3 Specimen test ordered?

When a person has symptoms that point to a high level of cortisol and Cushing syndrome, a cortisol test may be recommended.

Women with irregular menstrual periods and increased facial hair may be tested, and children with delayed development and small stature may also be tested.

When someone exhibits symptoms that point to a low cortisol level, adrenal insufficiency, or Addison disease, this test may be ordered.

What does a Cortisol 3 Specimen blood test check for?

Cortisol is a hormone that plays a function in protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism. It has an effect on blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and immune system regulation. Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced into the urine and found in the saliva. This test determines how much cortisol is present in the blood, urine, or saliva.

Cortisol levels in the blood usually rise and fall in a pattern known as "diurnal variation." It reaches its highest point early in the morning, then gradually decreases over the day, reaching its lowest point around midnight. When a person works irregular shifts and sleeps at different times of the day, this rhythm might fluctuate, and it can be disrupted when a disease or condition inhibits or stimulates cortisol production.

The adrenal glands, two triangle organs that sit on top of the kidneys, generate and emit cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Cushing syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms associated with an unusually high cortisol level. Cortisol production may be increased as a result of:

  • Large doses of glucocorticosteroid hormones are given to treat a range of ailments, including autoimmune illness and certain cancers.
  • Tumors that produce ACTH in the pituitary gland and/or other regions of the body.
  • Cortisol production by the adrenal glands is increased as a result of a tumor or abnormal expansion of adrenal tissues.

Rarely, CRH-producing malignancies in various regions of the body.

Cortisol production may be reduced as a result of:

  • Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by an underactive pituitary gland or a pituitary gland tumor that prevents ACTH production.
  • Primary adrenal insufficiency, often known as Addison disease, is characterized by underactive or injured adrenal glands that limit cortisol production.

After quitting glucocorticosteroid hormone medication, especially if it was abruptly stopped after a long time of use.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cortisol 3 Specimen test:

  • Cortisol Saliva
  • ACTH
  • Aldosterone
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Growth Hormone

Conditions where a Cortisol 3 Specimen test is recommended :

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary Disorders

How does my health care provider use a Cortisol 3 Specimen test?

A cortisol test can be used to detect Cushing syndrome, which is characterized by an excess of cortisol, as well as adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease, which are characterized by a deficiency of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism, among other functions. Cortisol levels in the blood normally increase and fall in a "diurnal variation" pattern, rising early in the morning, dropping during the day, and reaching their lowest point around midnight.

The adrenal glands generate and excrete cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Blood cortisol testing assesses both protein-bound and free cortisol, but urine and saliva cortisol testing assesses only free cortisol, which should be in line with blood cortisol levels. Multiple blood and/or saliva cortisol levels collected at various times, such as 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., can be used to assess cortisol levels and diurnal variation. A 24-hour urine cortisol sample will not reveal diurnal variations; instead, it will assess the total quantity of unbound cortisol voided over the course of 24 hours.

If an elevated amount of cortisol is found, a health professional will conduct additional tests to confirm the results and discover the cause.

If a person's blood cortisol level is abnormally high, a doctor may order additional tests to be sure the high cortisol is indeed abnormal. Additional testing could involve monitoring 24-hour urinary cortisol, doing an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and/or obtaining a salivary sample before sleep to detect cortisol at its lowest level. Urinary cortisol testing necessitates collecting urine over a set length of time, usually 24 hours. Because ACTH is released in pulses by the pituitary gland, this test can assist evaluate whether a raised blood cortisol level is a true rise.

An ACTH stimulation test may be ordered if a health practitioner feels that the adrenal glands are not releasing enough cortisol or if initial blood tests reveal insufficient cortisol production.

ACTH stimulation is a test that measures the amount of cortisol in a person's blood before and after a synthetic ACTH injection. Cortisol levels will rise in response to ACTH stimulation if the adrenal glands are functioning normally. Cortisol levels will be low if they are damaged or not working properly. To distinguish between adrenal and pituitary insufficiency, a lengthier variant of this test can be used.

What do my Cortisol Total test results mean?

Cortisol levels are typically lowest before bedtime and highest shortly after awakening, though this pattern can be disrupted if a person works rotating shifts and sleeps at various times on separate days.

Excess cortisol and Cushing syndrome are indicated by an increased or normal cortisol level shortly after awakening, as well as a level that does not diminish by bedtime. If the excess cortisol is not suppressed after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, the 24-hour urine cortisol is elevated, or the late-night salivary cortisol level is elevated, the excess cortisol is likely due to abnormal increased ACTH production by the pituitary or a tumor outside of the pituitary, or abnormal production by the adrenal glands. Additional tests will aid in determining the root of the problem.

If the person examined responds to an ACTH stimulation test and has insufficient cortisol, the problem is most likely due to insufficient ACTH production by the pituitary. If the person does not respond to the ACTH stimulation test, the problem is most likely to be with the adrenal glands. Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands are underactive as a result of pituitary dysfunction and/or insufficient ACTH synthesis. Adrenal injury causes decreased cortisol production, which is referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease.

Once an irregularity has been found and linked to the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or another source, the health practitioner may utilize additional testing, such as a CT scan, to determine the extent of any gland damage.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Cortisol is increased in Cushing's disease and decreased in Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency)

This is a 4 specimen blood test


Description: A cortisol test measures the amount of cortisol in the blood. These levels will start off high in the morning and throughout the say they become lower. At midnight they are typically at their lowest level. Someone who works a night shift or has an irregular sleep schedule may have a different pattern. This test can be used to determine Cushing's or Addison's Disease.

Also Known As: Cortisol Total Test, Cortisol 5 Specimen Test, 5 Specimen Cortisol Test, Cortisol Blood Test, Cortisol Serum Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Cortisol 5 Specimen test ordered?

When a person has symptoms that point to a high level of cortisol and Cushing syndrome, a cortisol test may be recommended.

Women with irregular menstrual periods and increased facial hair may be tested, and children with delayed development and small stature may also be tested.

When someone exhibits symptoms that point to a low cortisol level, adrenal insufficiency, or Addison disease, this test may be ordered.

What does a Cortisol 5 Specimen blood test check for?

Cortisol is a hormone that plays a function in protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism. It has an effect on blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and immune system regulation. Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced into the urine and found in the saliva. This test determines how much cortisol is present in the blood, urine, or saliva.

Cortisol levels in the blood usually rise and fall in a pattern known as "diurnal variation." It reaches its highest point early in the morning, then gradually decreases over the day, reaching its lowest point around midnight. When a person works irregular shifts and sleeps at different times of the day, this rhythm might fluctuate, and it can be disrupted when a disease or condition inhibits or stimulates cortisol production.

The adrenal glands, two triangle organs that sit on top of the kidneys, generate and emit cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Cushing syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms associated with an unusually high cortisol level. Cortisol production may be increased as a result of:

  • Large doses of glucocorticosteroid hormones are given to treat a range of ailments, including autoimmune illness and certain cancers.
  • Tumors that produce ACTH in the pituitary gland and/or other regions of the body.
  • Cortisol production by the adrenal glands is increased as a result of a tumor or abnormal expansion of adrenal tissues.

Rarely, CRH-producing malignancies in various regions of the body.

Cortisol production may be reduced as a result of:

  • Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by an underactive pituitary gland or a pituitary gland tumor that prevents ACTH production.
  • Primary adrenal insufficiency, often known as Addison disease, is characterized by underactive or injured adrenal glands that limit cortisol production.

After quitting glucocorticosteroid hormone medication, especially if it was abruptly stopped after a long time of use.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cortisol 5 Specimen test:

  • Cortisol Saliva
  • ACTH
  • Aldosterone
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Growth Hormone

Conditions where a Cortisol 5 Specimen test is recommended:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary Disorders

How does my health care provider use a Cortisol 5 Specimen test?

A cortisol test can be used to detect Cushing syndrome, which is characterized by an excess of cortisol, as well as adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease, which are characterized by a deficiency of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism, among other functions. Cortisol levels in the blood normally increase and fall in a "diurnal variation" pattern, rising early in the morning, dropping during the day, and reaching their lowest point around midnight.

The adrenal glands generate and excrete cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Blood cortisol testing assesses both protein-bound and free cortisol, but urine and saliva cortisol testing assesses only free cortisol, which should be in line with blood cortisol levels. Multiple blood and/or saliva cortisol levels collected at various times, such as 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., can be used to assess cortisol levels and diurnal variation. A 24-hour urine cortisol sample will not reveal diurnal variations; instead, it will assess the total quantity of unbound cortisol voided over the course of 24 hours.

If an elevated amount of cortisol is found, a health professional will conduct additional tests to confirm the results and discover the cause.

If a person's blood cortisol level is abnormally high, a doctor may order additional tests to be sure the high cortisol is indeed abnormal. Additional testing could involve monitoring 24-hour urinary cortisol, doing an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and/or obtaining a salivary sample before sleep to detect cortisol at its lowest level. Urinary cortisol testing necessitates collecting urine over a set length of time, usually 24 hours. Because ACTH is released in pulses by the pituitary gland, this test can assist evaluate whether a raised blood cortisol level is a true rise.

An ACTH stimulation test may be ordered if a health practitioner feels that the adrenal glands are not releasing enough cortisol or if initial blood tests reveal insufficient cortisol production.

ACTH stimulation is a test that measures the amount of cortisol in a person's blood before and after a synthetic ACTH injection. Cortisol levels will rise in response to ACTH stimulation if the adrenal glands are functioning normally. Cortisol levels will be low if they are damaged or not working properly. To distinguish between adrenal and pituitary insufficiency, a lengthier variant of this test can be used.

What do my Cortisol Total test results mean?

Cortisol levels are typically lowest before bedtime and highest shortly after awakening, though this pattern can be disrupted if a person works rotating shifts and sleeps at various times on separate days.

Excess cortisol and Cushing syndrome are indicated by an increased or normal cortisol level shortly after awakening, as well as a level that does not diminish by bedtime. If the excess cortisol is not suppressed after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, the 24-hour urine cortisol is elevated, or the late-night salivary cortisol level is elevated, the excess cortisol is likely due to abnormal increased ACTH production by the pituitary or a tumor outside of the pituitary, or abnormal production by the adrenal glands. Additional tests will aid in determining the root of the problem.

If the person examined responds to an ACTH stimulation test and has insufficient cortisol, the problem is most likely due to insufficient ACTH production by the pituitary. If the person does not respond to the ACTH stimulation test, the problem is most likely to be with the adrenal glands. Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands are underactive as a result of pituitary dysfunction and/or insufficient ACTH synthesis. Adrenal injury causes decreased cortisol production, which is referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease.

Once an irregularity has been found and linked to the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or another source, the health practitioner may utilize additional testing, such as a CT scan, to determine the extent of any gland damage.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A cortisol test measures the amount of cortisol in the blood. These levels will start off high in the morning and throughout the say they become lower. At midnight they are typically at their lowest level. Someone who works a night shift or has an irregular sleep schedule may have a different pattern. This test can be used to determine Cushing's or Addison's Disease.

Also Known As: Cortisol Total Test, Cortisol 6 Specimen Test, 6 Specimen Cortisol Test, Cortisol Blood Test, Cortisol Serum Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Cortisol 6 Specimen test ordered?

When a person has symptoms that point to a high level of cortisol and Cushing syndrome, a cortisol test may be recommended.

Women with irregular menstrual periods and increased facial hair may be tested, and children with delayed development and small stature may also be tested.

When someone exhibits symptoms that point to a low cortisol level, adrenal insufficiency, or Addison disease, this test may be ordered.

What does a Cortisol 6 Specimen blood test check for?

Cortisol is a hormone that plays a function in protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism. It has an effect on blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and immune system regulation. Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced into the urine and found in the saliva. This test determines how much cortisol is present in the blood, urine, or saliva.

Cortisol levels in the blood usually rise and fall in a pattern known as "diurnal variation." It reaches its highest point early in the morning, then gradually decreases over the day, reaching its lowest point around midnight. When a person works irregular shifts and sleeps at different times of the day, this rhythm might fluctuate, and it can be disrupted when a disease or condition inhibits or stimulates cortisol production.

The adrenal glands, two triangle organs that sit on top of the kidneys, generate and emit cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Cushing syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms associated with an unusually high cortisol level. Cortisol production may be increased as a result of:

  • Large doses of glucocorticosteroid hormones are given to treat a range of ailments, including autoimmune illness and certain cancers.
  • Tumors that produce ACTH in the pituitary gland and/or other regions of the body.
  • Cortisol production by the adrenal glands is increased as a result of a tumor or abnormal expansion of adrenal tissues.

Rarely, CRH-producing malignancies in various regions of the body.

Cortisol production may be reduced as a result of:

  • Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by an underactive pituitary gland or a pituitary gland tumor that prevents ACTH production.
  • Primary adrenal insufficiency, often known as Addison disease, is characterized by underactive or injured adrenal glands that limit cortisol production.

After quitting glucocorticosteroid hormone medication, especially if it was abruptly stopped after a long time of use.

Lab tests often ordered with a a Cortisol 6 Specimen test:

  • Cortisol Saliva
  • ACTH
  • Aldosterone
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Growth Hormone

Conditions where a Cortisol 6 Specimen test is recommended:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary Disorders

How does my health care provider use a Cortisol 6 Specimen test?

A cortisol test can be used to detect Cushing syndrome, which is characterized by an excess of cortisol, as well as adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease, which are characterized by a deficiency of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism, among other functions. Cortisol levels in the blood normally increase and fall in a "diurnal variation" pattern, rising early in the morning, dropping during the day, and reaching their lowest point around midnight.

The adrenal glands generate and excrete cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Blood cortisol testing assesses both protein-bound and free cortisol, but urine and saliva cortisol testing assesses only free cortisol, which should be in line with blood cortisol levels. Multiple blood and/or saliva cortisol levels collected at various times, such as 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., can be used to assess cortisol levels and diurnal variation. A 24-hour urine cortisol sample will not reveal diurnal variations; instead, it will assess the total quantity of unbound cortisol voided over the course of 24 hours.

If an elevated amount of cortisol is found, a health professional will conduct additional tests to confirm the results and discover the cause.

If a person's blood cortisol level is abnormally high, a doctor may order additional tests to be sure the high cortisol is indeed abnormal. Additional testing could involve monitoring 24-hour urinary cortisol, doing an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and/or obtaining a salivary sample before sleep to detect cortisol at its lowest level. Urinary cortisol testing necessitates collecting urine over a set length of time, usually 24 hours. Because ACTH is released in pulses by the pituitary gland, this test can assist evaluate whether a raised blood cortisol level is a true rise.

An ACTH stimulation test may be ordered if a health practitioner feels that the adrenal glands are not releasing enough cortisol or if initial blood tests reveal insufficient cortisol production.

ACTH stimulation is a test that measures the amount of cortisol in a person's blood before and after a synthetic ACTH injection. Cortisol levels will rise in response to ACTH stimulation if the adrenal glands are functioning normally. Cortisol levels will be low if they are damaged or not working properly. To distinguish between adrenal and pituitary insufficiency, a lengthier variant of this test can be used.

What do my Cortisol Total test results mean?

Cortisol levels are typically lowest before bedtime and highest shortly after awakening, though this pattern can be disrupted if a person works rotating shifts and sleeps at various times on separate days.

Excess cortisol and Cushing syndrome are indicated by an increased or normal cortisol level shortly after awakening, as well as a level that does not diminish by bedtime. If the excess cortisol is not suppressed after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, the 24-hour urine cortisol is elevated, or the late-night salivary cortisol level is elevated, the excess cortisol is likely due to abnormal increased ACTH production by the pituitary or a tumor outside of the pituitary, or abnormal production by the adrenal glands. Additional tests will aid in determining the root of the problem.

If the person examined responds to an ACTH stimulation test and has insufficient cortisol, the problem is most likely due to insufficient ACTH production by the pituitary. If the person does not respond to the ACTH stimulation test, the problem is most likely to be with the adrenal glands. Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands are underactive as a result of pituitary dysfunction and/or insufficient ACTH synthesis. Adrenal injury causes decreased cortisol production, which is referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease.

Once an irregularity has been found and linked to the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or another source, the health practitioner may utilize additional testing, such as a CT scan, to determine the extent of any gland damage.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Most Popular

Description: A cortisol test measures the amount of cortisol in the blood. These levels will start off high in the morning and throughout the say they become lower. At midnight they are typically at their lowest level. Someone who works a night shift or has an irregular sleep schedule may have a different pattern. This test can be used to determine Cushing's or Addison's Disease.

Also Known As: Cortisol AM Test, Cortisol Total Test, Cortisol Test, Cortisol Blood Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Specimen must be drawn between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Test is not recommended for patients receiving prednisone/prednisolone therapy due to cross reactivity with the antibody used in this test.

When is a Cortisol AM test ordered?

When a person has symptoms that point to a high level of cortisol and Cushing syndrome, a cortisol test may be recommended.

Women with irregular menstrual periods and increased facial hair may be tested, and children with delayed development and small stature may also be tested.

When someone exhibits symptoms that point to a low cortisol level, adrenal insufficiency, or Addison disease, this test may be ordered.

What does a Cortisol AM blood test check for?

Cortisol is a hormone that plays a function in protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism. It has an effect on blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and immune system regulation. Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced into the urine and found in the saliva. This test determines how much cortisol is present in the blood, urine, or saliva.

Cortisol levels in the blood usually rise and fall in a pattern known as "diurnal variation." It reaches its highest point early in the morning, then gradually decreases over the day, reaching its lowest point around midnight. When a person works irregular shifts and sleeps at different times of the day, this rhythm might fluctuate, and it can be disrupted when a disease or condition inhibits or stimulates cortisol production.

The adrenal glands, two triangle organs that sit on top of the kidneys, generate and emit cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. A certain amount of cortisol must be produced for normal adrenal, pituitary gland, and brain function.

Cushing syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms associated with an unusually high cortisol level. Cortisol production may be increased as a result of:

  • Large doses of glucocorticosteroid hormones are given to treat a range of ailments, including autoimmune illness and certain cancers.
  • Tumors that produce ACTH in the pituitary gland and/or other regions of the body.
  • Cortisol production by the adrenal glands is increased as a result of a tumor or abnormal expansion of adrenal tissues.

Rarely, CRH-producing malignancies in various regions of the body.

Cortisol production may be reduced as a result of:

  • Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by an underactive pituitary gland or a pituitary gland tumor that prevents ACTH production.
  • Primary adrenal insufficiency, often known as Addison disease, is characterized by underactive or injured adrenal glands that limit cortisol production.

After quitting glucocorticosteroid hormone medication, especially if it was abruptly stopped after a long time of use.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cortisol AM test:

  • Cortisol PM
  • ACTH
  • Aldosterone
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Growth Hormone

Conditions where a Cortisol AM test is recommended:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary Disorders

How does my health care provider use a Cortisol AM test?

A cortisol test can be used to detect Cushing syndrome, which is characterized by an excess of cortisol, as well as adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease, which are characterized by a deficiency of cortisol. Among other things, the hormone cortisol controls how proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates are metabolized. Cortisol levels in the blood normally increase and fall in a "diurnal variation" pattern, rising early in the morning, dropping during the day, and reaching their lowest point around midnight.

The adrenal glands generate and excrete cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. Cortisol production and release are triggered by ACTH in the adrenal glands. A certain amount of cortisol must be produced for normal brain, pituitary, and adrenal gland function.

Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Blood cortisol testing assesses both protein-bound and free cortisol, but urine and saliva cortisol testing assesses only free cortisol, which should be in line with blood cortisol levels. Multiple blood and/or saliva cortisol levels collected at various times, such as 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., can be used to assess cortisol levels and diurnal variation. A 24-hour urine cortisol sample will not reveal diurnal variations; instead, it will assess the total quantity of unbound cortisol voided over the course of 24 hours.

If an elevated amount of cortisol is found, a health professional will conduct additional tests to confirm the results and discover the cause.

If a person's blood cortisol level is abnormally high, a doctor may order additional tests to be sure the high cortisol is indeed abnormal. Additional testing could involve monitoring 24-hour urinary cortisol, doing an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and/or obtaining a salivary sample before sleep to detect cortisol at its lowest level. Urinary cortisol testing necessitates collecting urine over a set length of time, usually 24 hours. Because ACTH is released in pulses by the pituitary gland, this test can assist evaluate whether a raised blood cortisol level is a true rise.

An ACTH stimulation test may be ordered if a health practitioner feels that the adrenal glands are not releasing enough cortisol or if initial blood tests reveal insufficient cortisol production.

The purpose of ACTH stimulation is to compare the levels of cortisol in a person's blood before and after receiving an injection of synthetic ACTH. If the adrenal glands are healthy, the reaction to ACTH stimulation will be an increase in cortisol levels. Low amounts of cortisol will result if they are broken or not functioning properly. To distinguish between adrenal and pituitary insufficiency, a lengthier variant of this test can be used.

What do my Cortisol AM test results mean?

Cortisol levels are typically lowest before bedtime and highest shortly after awakening, though this pattern can be disrupted if a person works rotating shifts and sleeps at various times on separate days.

Excess cortisol and Cushing syndrome are indicated by an increased or normal cortisol level shortly after awakening, as well as a level that does not diminish by bedtime. If the excess cortisol is not suppressed after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, the 24-hour urine cortisol is elevated, or the late-night salivary cortisol level is elevated, the excess cortisol is likely due to abnormal increased ACTH production by the pituitary or a tumor outside of the pituitary, or abnormal production by the adrenal glands. Additional tests will aid in determining the root of the problem.

If the subject of the examination reacts to an ACTH stimulation test and has insufficient cortisol levels, the issue is most likely brought on by the pituitary's insufficient production of ACTH. The adrenal glands are most likely the source of the issue if the subject does not react to the ACTH stimulation test.

 

An additional test, like as a CT scan, may be used by the medical professional to evaluate the degree of any gland damage once an irregularity has been identified and related to the pituitary gland, the adrenal glands, or another cause.

Important: Patient needs to have the specimen collected between 7 a.m.-9 a.m.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Urinary Free Cortisol is useful in the detection of patients with Cushing's syndrome for whom Free Cortisol concentrations are elevated.

Most Popular

Description: A cortisol test measures the amount of cortisol in the blood. These levels will start off high in the morning and throughout the say they become lower. At midnight they are typically at their lowest level. Someone who works a night shift or has an irregular sleep schedule may have a different pattern. This test can be used to determine Cushing's or Addison's Disease.

Also Known As: Cortisol PM Test, Cortisol Total Test, Cortisol Test, Cortisol Blood Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Must be drawn between 3 and 5 p.m.

When is Cortisol PM test ordered?

When a person has symptoms that point to a high level of cortisol and Cushing syndrome, a cortisol test may be recommended.

Women with irregular menstrual periods and increased facial hair may be tested, and children with delayed development and small stature may also be tested.

When someone exhibits symptoms that point to a low cortisol level, adrenal insufficiency, or Addison disease, this test may be ordered.

What does a Cortisol PM blood test check for?

Cortisol is a hormone that plays a function in protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism. It has an effect on blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and immune system regulation. Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced into the urine and found in the saliva. This test determines how much cortisol is present in the blood, urine, or saliva.

Cortisol levels in the blood usually rise and fall in a pattern known as "diurnal variation." It reaches its highest point early in the morning, then gradually decreases over the day, reaching its lowest point around midnight. When a person works irregular shifts and sleeps at different times of the day, this rhythm might fluctuate, and it can be disrupted when a disease or condition inhibits or stimulates cortisol production.

The adrenal glands, two triangle organs that sit on top of the kidneys, generate and emit cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Cushing syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms associated with an unusually high cortisol level. Cortisol production may be increased as a result of:

  • Large doses of glucocorticosteroid hormones are given to treat a range of ailments, including autoimmune illness and certain cancers.
  • Tumors that produce ACTH in the pituitary gland and/or other regions of the body.
  • Cortisol production by the adrenal glands is increased as a result of a tumor or abnormal expansion of adrenal tissues.

Rarely, CRH-producing malignancies in various regions of the body.

Cortisol production may be reduced as a result of:

  • Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by an underactive pituitary gland or a pituitary gland tumor that prevents ACTH production.
  • Primary adrenal insufficiency, often known as Addison disease, is characterized by underactive or injured adrenal glands that limit cortisol production.

After quitting glucocorticosteroid hormone medication, especially if it was abruptly stopped after a long time of use.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cortisol PM test:

  • Cortisol Total
  • Cortisol AM
  • Cortisol Saliva
  • ACTH
  • Aldosterone
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Growth Hormone

Conditions where a Cortisol PM test is recommended:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary Disorders

How does my health care provider use a Cortisol PM test?

A cortisol test can be used to detect Cushing syndrome, which is characterized by an excess of cortisol, as well as adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease, which are characterized by a deficiency of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism, among other functions. Cortisol levels in the blood normally increase and fall in a "diurnal variation" pattern, rising early in the morning, dropping during the day, and reaching their lowest point around midnight.

The adrenal glands generate and excrete cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Blood cortisol testing assesses both protein-bound and free cortisol, but urine and saliva cortisol testing assesses only free cortisol, which should be in line with blood cortisol levels. Multiple blood and/or saliva cortisol levels collected at various times, such as 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., can be used to assess cortisol levels and diurnal variation. A 24-hour urine cortisol sample will not reveal diurnal variations; instead, it will assess the total quantity of unbound cortisol voided over the course of 24 hours.

If an elevated amount of cortisol is found, a health professional will conduct additional tests to confirm the results and discover the cause.

If a person's blood cortisol level is abnormally high, a doctor may order additional tests to be sure the high cortisol is indeed abnormal. Additional testing could involve monitoring 24-hour urinary cortisol, doing an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and/or obtaining a salivary sample before sleep to detect cortisol at its lowest level. Urinary cortisol testing necessitates collecting urine over a set length of time, usually 24 hours. Because ACTH is released in pulses by the pituitary gland, this test can assist evaluate whether a raised blood cortisol level is a true rise.

An ACTH stimulation test may be ordered if a health practitioner feels that the adrenal glands are not releasing enough cortisol or if initial blood tests reveal insufficient cortisol production.

ACTH stimulation is a test that measures the amount of cortisol in a person's blood before and after a synthetic ACTH injection. Cortisol levels will rise in response to ACTH stimulation if the adrenal glands are functioning normally. Cortisol levels will be low if they are damaged or not working properly. To distinguish between adrenal and pituitary insufficiency, a lengthier variant of this test can be used.

What do my Cortisol PM test results mean?

Cortisol levels are typically lowest before bedtime and highest shortly after awakening, though this pattern can be disrupted if a person works rotating shifts and sleeps at various times on separate days.

Excess cortisol and Cushing syndrome are indicated by an increased or normal cortisol level shortly after awakening, as well as a level that does not diminish by bedtime. If the excess cortisol is not suppressed after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, the 24-hour urine cortisol is elevated, or the late-night salivary cortisol level is elevated, the excess cortisol is likely due to abnormal increased ACTH production by the pituitary or a tumor outside of the pituitary, or abnormal production by the adrenal glands. Additional tests will aid in determining the root of the problem.

If the person examined responds to an ACTH stimulation test and has insufficient cortisol, the problem is most likely due to insufficient ACTH production by the pituitary. If the person does not respond to the ACTH stimulation test, the problem is most likely to be with the adrenal glands. Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands are underactive as a result of pituitary dysfunction and/or insufficient ACTH synthesis. Adrenal injury causes decreased cortisol production, which is referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease.

Once an irregularity has been found and linked to the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or another source, the health practitioner may utilize additional testing, such as a CT scan, to determine the extent of any gland damage.

Patient needs to have the specimen collected between 3 p.m - 5 p.m.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Most Popular

Description: A cortisol test measures the amount of cortisol in the blood. These levels will start off high in the morning and throughout the say they become lower. At midnight they are typically at their lowest level. Someone who works a night shift or has an irregular sleep schedule may have a different pattern. This test can be used to determine Cushing's or Addison's Disease.

Also Known As: Cortisol Total Test, Cortisol Test, Cortisol Blood Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Test not recommended when patient is on prednisone/prednisolone therapy due to cross reactivity with the antibody used in this test

When is a Cortisol Total test ordered?

When a person has symptoms that point to a high level of cortisol and Cushing syndrome, a cortisol test may be recommended.

Women with irregular menstrual periods and increased facial hair may be tested, and children with delayed development and small stature may also be tested.

When someone exhibits symptoms that point to a low cortisol level, adrenal insufficiency, or Addison disease, this test may be ordered.

What does a Cortisol Total blood test check for?

Cortisol is a hormone that plays a function in protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism. It has an effect on blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and immune system regulation. Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced into the urine and found in the saliva. This test determines how much cortisol is present in the blood, urine, or saliva.

Cortisol levels in the blood usually rise and fall in a pattern known as "diurnal variation." It reaches its highest point early in the morning, then gradually decreases over the day, reaching its lowest point around midnight. When a person works irregular shifts and sleeps at different times of the day, this rhythm might fluctuate, and it can be disrupted when a disease or condition inhibits or stimulates cortisol production.

The adrenal glands, two triangle organs that sit on top of the kidneys, generate and emit cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Cushing syndrome is a collection of signs and symptoms associated with an unusually high cortisol level. Cortisol production may be increased as a result of:

  • Large doses of glucocorticosteroid hormones are given to treat a range of ailments, including autoimmune illness and certain cancers.
  • Tumors that produce ACTH in the pituitary gland and/or other regions of the body.
  • Cortisol production by the adrenal glands is increased as a result of a tumor or abnormal expansion of adrenal tissues.

Rarely, CRH-producing malignancies in various regions of the body.

Cortisol production may be reduced as a result of:

  • Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by an underactive pituitary gland or a pituitary gland tumor that prevents ACTH production.
  • Primary adrenal insufficiency, often known as Addison disease, is characterized by underactive or injured adrenal glands that limit cortisol production.

After quitting glucocorticosteroid hormone medication, especially if it was abruptly stopped after a long time of use.

Lab tests often ordered with a Cortisol Total test:

  • Cortisol PM
  • Cortisol AM
  • Cortisol Saliva
  • ACTH
  • Aldosterone
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Growth Hormone

Conditions where a Cortisol Test is recommended:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Hypertension
  • Pituitary Disorders

How does my health care provider use a Cortisol Total test?

A cortisol test can be used to detect Cushing syndrome, which is characterized by an excess of cortisol, as well as adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease, which are characterized by a deficiency of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism, among other functions. Cortisol levels in the blood normally increase and fall in a "diurnal variation" pattern, rising early in the morning, dropping during the day, and reaching their lowest point around midnight.

The adrenal glands generate and excrete cortisol. The hypothalamus in the brain and the pituitary gland, a small organ below the brain, control the hormone's production. The hypothalamus produces corticotropin-releasing hormone when blood cortisol levels drop, which tells the pituitary gland to create ACTH. The adrenal glands are stimulated by ACTH to generate and release cortisol. The brain, pituitary, and adrenal glands must all be operating properly in order to produce enough levels of cortisol.

Only a small fraction of cortisol in the blood is "free" and biologically active; the majority is attached to a protein. Blood cortisol testing assesses both protein-bound and free cortisol, but urine and saliva cortisol testing assesses only free cortisol, which should be in line with blood cortisol levels. Multiple blood and/or saliva cortisol levels collected at various times, such as 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., can be used to assess cortisol levels and diurnal variation. A 24-hour urine cortisol sample will not reveal diurnal variations; instead, it will assess the total quantity of unbound cortisol voided over the course of 24 hours.

If an elevated amount of cortisol is found, a health professional will conduct additional tests to confirm the results and discover the cause.

If a person's blood cortisol level is abnormally high, a doctor may order additional tests to be sure the high cortisol is indeed abnormal. Additional testing could involve monitoring 24-hour urinary cortisol, doing an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, and/or obtaining a salivary sample before sleep to detect cortisol at its lowest level. Urinary cortisol testing necessitates collecting urine over a set length of time, usually 24 hours. Because ACTH is released in pulses by the pituitary gland, this test can assist evaluate whether a raised blood cortisol level is a true rise.

An ACTH stimulation test may be ordered if a health practitioner feels that the adrenal glands are not releasing enough cortisol or if initial blood tests reveal insufficient cortisol production.

ACTH stimulation is a test that measures the amount of cortisol in a person's blood before and after a synthetic ACTH injection. Cortisol levels will rise in response to ACTH stimulation if the adrenal glands are functioning normally. Cortisol levels will be low if they are damaged or not working properly. To distinguish between adrenal and pituitary insufficiency, a lengthier variant of this test can be used.

What do my Cortisol Total test results mean?

Cortisol levels are typically lowest before bedtime and highest shortly after awakening, though this pattern can be disrupted if a person works rotating shifts and sleeps at various times on separate days.

Excess cortisol and Cushing syndrome are indicated by an increased or normal cortisol level shortly after awakening, as well as a level that does not diminish by bedtime. If the excess cortisol is not suppressed after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test, the 24-hour urine cortisol is elevated, or the late-night salivary cortisol level is elevated, the excess cortisol is likely due to abnormal increased ACTH production by the pituitary or a tumor outside of the pituitary, or abnormal production by the adrenal glands. Additional tests will aid in determining the root of the problem.

If the person examined responds to an ACTH stimulation test and has insufficient cortisol, the problem is most likely due to insufficient ACTH production by the pituitary. If the person does not respond to the ACTH stimulation test, the problem is most likely to be with the adrenal glands. Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands are underactive as a result of pituitary dysfunction and/or insufficient ACTH synthesis. Adrenal injury causes decreased cortisol production, which is referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease.

Once an irregularity has been found and linked to the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, or another source, the health practitioner may utilize additional testing, such as a CT scan, to determine the extent of any gland damage.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Most Popular

Description: A Creatinine test is a blood test that is used to evaluate the health of your kidneys and diagnose and monitor the treatment of kidney disease.

Also Known As: Create Test, Blood Creatinine Test, Serum Creatinine Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Creatinine test ordered?

During a health assessment, creatinine may be requested as part of a complete or basic metabolic panel. It may be ordered if a person is seriously ill or if a doctor feels that their kidneys aren't functioning properly.

When someone has a known renal condition or a disease that may impact kidney function, a creatinine blood test, coupled with a BUN test and urine albumin, may be ordered at regular intervals. When a CT scan is planned, before to and during some medication therapy, and before and after dialysis, both BUN and creatinine may be requested to assess the effectiveness of treatments.

What does a Creatinine blood test check for?

Creatinine is a waste product created by muscles when a molecule called creatine is broken down. The kidneys eliminate creatinine from the body by filtering almost all of it from the blood and excreting it in the urine. The level of creatinine in the blood and/or urine is measured in this test.

Creatine is a component of the energy-producing cycle that allows muscles to contract. The body produces both creatine and creatinine at a roughly steady rate. Because the kidneys filter almost all creatinine from the blood and excrete it in the urine, blood levels are usually an excellent predictor of how well the kidneys are operating. The amount produced is determined by the person's size and muscular mass. As a result, men's creatinine levels will be slightly higher than women's and children's.

A blood creatinine test's results can be combined with those from other tests, such as a 24-hour urine creatinine test, to produce calculations that are used to assess kidney function.

Lab tests often ordered with a Creatinine test:

  • BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen)
  • Creatinine Clearance
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  • Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)
  • Urinalysis
  • Microalbumin and Creatinine Ratio
  • Cystatin C with eGFR
  • Beta-2 Microglobulin
  • Urine Protein

Conditions where a Creatinine test is recommended:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Proteinuria
  • Hypertension

How does my health care provider use a Creatinine test?

Kidney function is assessed with a creatinine blood test. It's usually requested in conjunction with a BUN test or as part of a basic or comprehensive metabolic panel, which consists of a series of tests designed to assess the operation of the body's primary organs. BMP or CMP tests are used to screen healthy persons during normal physical exams, as well as to help evaluate people who are acutely or chronically ill in the emergency room and/or hospital. Creatinine testing is sometimes done as part of a renal panel to assess kidney function.

Creatinine is a waste product created by muscles when a molecule called creatine is broken down. Because the kidneys filter almost all creatinine from the blood and discharge it into the urine, blood levels are usually an excellent predictor of how well the kidneys are operating.

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs placed on the right and left sides of the back at the bottom of the ribcage. Nephrons are a million microscopic blood filtering units found within them. Blood is continuously filtered by a small cluster of looping blood arteries called a glomerulus in each nephron. Water and tiny molecules flow through the glomerulus, but blood cells and bigger molecules are retained. Each glomerulus has a little tube attached to it that gathers the fluid and molecules that flow through it and then reabsorbs what the body can use. Urine is formed from the residual waste.

If the creatinine and BUN tests are abnormal, or if the patient has an underlying condition that affects the kidneys, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, creatinine and BUN tests may be used to monitor renal functionality and therapy effectiveness. Before some procedures, such as a CT scan, that may necessitate the use of medicines that can harm the kidneys, blood creatinine and BUN tests may be requested to assess renal function.

Creatinine test results can be utilized in calculations to determine renal function.

The estimated glomerular filtration rate, used as a screen to search for signs of early kidney damage, is calculated using blood creatinine readings, as well as age, weight, and sex.

What do my Creatinine test results mean?

Elevated creatinine levels in the blood indicate renal disease or other disorders affecting kidney function.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


DHEA is a weakly androgenic steroid that is useful when congenital adrenal hyperplasia is suspected. It is also useful in determining the source of androgens in hyperandrogenic conditions, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and adrenal tumors.

DHEA-S is the sulfated form of DHEA and is the major androgen produced by the adrenal glands. This test is used in the differential diagnosis of hirsute or virilized female patients and for the diagnosis of isolated premature adrenarche and adrenal tumors. About 10% of hirsute women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have elevated DHEA-S but normal levels of other androgens.

Brief Description: DHEA Sulfate is a blood test that is measuring the levels of Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate in the blood. It is often used to diagnose any problems in the adrenal glands such as cancer or a tumor. It can also be used to evaluate the cause of early puberty in young boys and male characteristics or appearance in women.

Also Known As: DHEA-SO4 Test, DHEAS Test, DHES1 Test, Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a DHEA Sulfate test ordered?

When excess androgen production is suspected and/or a health practitioner wants to analyze a person's adrenal gland function, a DHEAS test, along with other hormone testing, may be requested.

It can be assessed when a woman exhibits signs and symptoms of amenorrhea, infertility, and/or virilization. The intensity of these alterations varies, but they may include:

  • A huskier voice
  • Hair on the face or on the body that is excessive
  • Baldness in men
  • Muscularity
  • Acne
  • The Adam's apple has been enlarged
  • Breast size has shrunk

It may also be ordered if a young girl exhibits evidence of virilization or if a female infant's external genitalia are not clearly male or female.

When young males show indicators of premature puberty, such as a deeper voice, pubic hair, muscularity, and an enlarged penis before the age of typical puberty, DHEAS may be evaluated.

What does a DHEA Sulfate blood test check for?

Male sex hormone dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate is found in both men and women. This test determines the amount of DHEAS in your blood.

DHEAS:

  • At puberty, it aids in the development of male secondary sexual traits.
  • Can be transformed into more strong androgens like testosterone and androstenedione by the body.
  • It has the ability to transform into estrogen.

DHEAS is almost entirely produced by the adrenal glands, with minor contributions from a woman's ovaries and a man's testicles.

It's a good indicator of how well the adrenal glands are working. Overproduction of DHEAS can be caused by malignant and non-cancerous adrenal tumors, as well as adrenal hyperplasia. DHEAS can be produced by an ovarian tumor in rare cases.

DHEAS excess:

  • In adult men, it may go unnoticed.
  • In young boys, it can cause early puberty.
  • Menstrual irregularities and the development of masculine physical traits in girls and women, such as excess body and facial hair
  • Can result in a female infant being born with genitals that aren't clearly male or female

Lab tests often ordered with a DHEA Sulfate test:

  • Testosterone
  • ACTH
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Prolactin
  • Estrogen
  • Estradiol
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Androstenedione

Conditions where a DHEA Sulfate test is recommended:

  • PCOS
  • Infertility
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • Adrenal Insufficiency
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

How does my health care provider use a DHEA Sulfate test?

The dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate test is ordered in conjunction with testosterone and other male hormones assays to:

  • Examine the adrenal glands' performance.
  • Differentiate DHEAS-secreting disorders produced by the adrenal glands from those caused by the testicles or, in rare cases, the ovaries
  • Adrenocortical tumors and adrenal malignancies can be diagnosed with this test.
  • Assist in the diagnosis of congenital and adult-onset adrenal hyperplasia.

DHEAS levels are frequently examined in women, along with other hormones like FSH, LH, prolactin, estrogen, and testosterone, to help diagnose polycystic ovarian syndrome and rule out other reasons of infertility, lack of monthly cycle, and excess facial and body hair.

DHEAS levels, along with other hormones, may be requested to examine and diagnose the cause of young females developing masculine physical traits and young boys developing early puberty.

What do my DHEA-S test results mean?

A normal DHEAS level, together with other normal male hormone levels, suggests that the adrenal gland is working properly. When an adrenal tumor or cancer is present but not secreting hormones, DHEAS may be normal.

A high DHEAS blood level could indicate that the person's symptoms are caused or exacerbated by excessive DHEAS production. An elevated level of DHEAS, on the other hand, is not used to make a diagnosis of any particular condition; rather, it usually signals that further testing is required to determine the source of the hormone imbalance. An adrenocortical tumor, Cushing illness, adrenal cancer, or adrenal hyperplasia, as well as a DHEAS-producing ovarian tumor, can all cause high DHEAS.

DHEAS levels may be high in polycystic ovary syndrome, but they may also be normal, as PCOS is usually associated with ovarian androgen production.

Adrenal insufficiency, adrenal dysfunction, Addison disease, or hypopituitarism, a disorder characterized by low levels of pituitary hormones that govern the generation and secretion of adrenal hormones, can all produce low DHEAS levels.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: Estradiol is a blood test that is used to measure the levels of Estradiol in the blood's serum. Estradiol is one of the Estrogen hormones in the body.  Estradiol, Ultrasensitive LC/MS/MS #30289 is a more appropriate test for children that have not yet started a menstrual cycle.

Also Known As: E2 Test, Estrogen 2 Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Estradiol test ordered?

Tests for estradiol for women may be ordered if:

  • After menopause, a woman may experience symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • When a woman is unable to conceive, a series of estradiol readings taken over the course of her menstrual cycle may be used to track follicle development before using in vitro fertilization procedures
  • A woman is experiencing menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness, and/or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • If a menopausal woman is on hormone replacement therapy, her doctor may order estrone levels on a regular basis to check her progress.

Men and young boys may be subjected to estradiol testing if:

  • A boy's puberty is delayed, as evidenced by slow or delayed growth of testicles and penis, as well as a lack of deepening of voice or growth of body hair.
  • Signs of feminization, such as larger breasts.

What does an Estradiol blood test check for?

Estradiol, or E2, is a component of Estrogen that is present in the blood. For women, Estradiol is something that should be produced naturally, and the body produces larger amounts of Estradiol during puberty and it fluctuates throughout the menstrual cycle. Estradiol is most prominent in women of reproductive age. Low levels are common in girls who have not yet had their first menstrual cycle and in women after their reproductive age.

Lab tests often ordered with an Estradiol test:

  • Estrogen, Total, Serum
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Testosterone Free and Total
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Progesterone

Conditions where an Estradiol test is recommended:

  • Infertility
  • Menopause
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Hormone Imbalance
  • Premature, delayed, or abnormal development of sex organs

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use an Estradiol test?

Estrogen tests are used to detect a deficit or excess of estrogen in a woman, as well as to aid in the diagnosis of a range of illnesses linked to this imbalance. They may also be ordered to monitor the health of the growing fetus and placenta during pregnancy, as well as to help predict the timing of a woman's ovulation. Estrogen testing can be used to detect a hormone excess and its origin in men.

In the case of girls and women

Estradiol testing may be requested for the following reasons:

  • Diagnose early-onset puberty, which occurs when a girl develops secondary sex traits much earlier than anticipated, or late puberty, which occurs when a female develops secondary sex characteristics or begins menstruation later than predicted.
  • Examine menstrual irregularities such as the absence of menstrual periods, infertility, and unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • Evaluate ovary function and look for signs of ovarian failure.
  • Serial measurements of estradiol can be used to track follicle development in the ovary in the days leading up to in vitro fertilization.
  • Keep track of any hormone replacement therapy you're getting to help with your fertility.
  • Keep track of menopausal hormone replacement medication, which is used to treat symptoms caused by estrogen insufficiency.
  • Identify cancers that produce estrogen.
  • As with breast cancer, keep an eye on anti-estrogen therapy.

Boys and men may be subjected to estradiol testing in order to:

  • Assist in the diagnosis of delayed puberty
  • Assist in determining the cause of larger breasts or other feminization indications.
  • Detect an excess of relative estrogen due to a testosterone or androgen deficit.
  • Identify cancers that produce estrogen.

What do my Estradiol test results mean?

Estradiol is one of the three Estrogens that have a large impact on the women's body throughout the menstrual cycle. When these hormones are too high or too low, it could cause irregular bleeding, infertility, complications with menopause, and delayed or premature puberty. Out of range levels can also be indicative of an ovarian condition such as PCOS. It is important to note that these values will fluctuate throughout a woman's cycle. The Estrogen hormones work together and if one is out of range, the others may also be out of range. It is recommended to follow up with a licensed healthcare professional to determine the best treatment if need.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

IMPORTANT - Note this Estradiol test is not for children that have yet to start their menstrual cycle.  If this test is ordered for a child that has yet to begin their menstrual cycle Quest Diagnostics labs will substitute in Estradiol, Ultrasensitive LC/MS/MS - #30289 at an additional charge of $34



Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects almost 5 million women in the United States. PCOS is a lifelong health condition that affects women well beyond their childbearing years.

You can develop serious health problems from PCOS, but a PCOS test eliminates the worry and helps you get your health back on track. You don't have to suffer from this common condition alone. Help is available for PCOS.

Keep reading this guide if you think you may have polycystic ovaries syndrome symptoms and want a PCOS test. You'll find out everything you need to know about PCOS and PCOS tests.

What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common hormonal disorder for women. When you have PCOS, it disrupts the hormonal balance necessary for regular ovulation.

The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) causes follicles and eggs to develop. Then luteinizing hormone (LH) causes the follicle to release the egg.

If this balance is disrupted, small cysts form on the ovary instead of an egg releasing, disrupting your hormonal balance even further. Sometimes when women don't make enough hormones to ovulate normally for an extended time, the ovaries develop numerous small cysts. 

These small cysts make the hormone androgen (sex hormones), specifically testosterone, and when these levels become too high, many symptoms of PCOS start to occur. 

Risk Factors of PCOS

PCOS runs in families, but it's not known how exactly it goes from generation to generation. So, if you have a mother or sister with PCOS, you're at higher risk too. 

Stress, environmental pollution, obesity, diet, and exercise habits all play a part in PCOS development. 

Causes of PCOS

The exact cause of PCOS isn't known, but certain factors are thought to contribute to it.

Your body produces insulin in the pancreas, which allows your cells to use sugar for their energy supply. If your body becomes resistant to insulin, your blood sugars rise to cause you to make even more insulin.

Having too much insulin in your body increases how much androgens your body produces, which leads to difficulty with ovulation. 

Next is inflammation. Most women with PCOS have low-grade inflammation that affects their entire body. This inflammation stimulates the ovaries to make more testosterone, the male sex hormone androgen.

Simply having high levels of androgens in your body can trigger the onset of PCOS. 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Symptoms

Polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms often begin from the first menstrual cycle, but this varies. Often, PCOS symptoms are challenging to pinpoint, as symptoms mimic those of other conditions. Symptoms you'll likely notice with PCOS include:

  • Irregular or light periods
  • Missed periods
  • Large ovaries with many cysts
  • Excess body hair on your back, chest, and stomach
  • Acne
  • Oily skin
  • Infertility
  • Thinning hair

Symptoms and signs of PCOS tend to become severe if you're overweight or obese. 

Complications of PCOS

Polycystic ovary disease can be severe and causes other long-term medical complications far beyond infertility. 

PCOS can cause pregnancy complications like miscarriages, premature birth, high blood pressure in pregnancy, and gestational diabetes.

In addition, PCOS can cause metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is a group of conditions that occur all at once, which increases your risk of heart disease. These include increased blood pressure, increased blood sugar, high triglyceride or cholesterol levels, and excess body fat in the waist.

Other complications PCOS causes include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Liver inflammation
  • Sleep apnea
  • Increased risk of uterine cancer
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Diagnosing PCOS

Your doctor will ask you all about your current symptoms and past medical history. You'll also likely have a pelvic exam to check your reproductive organ health.

Often many symptoms of PCOS are due to other health problems, so you'll need to have further tests to confirm. Typically, your doctor will order an ultrasound to assess the size of your ovaries, check for cysts, and evaluate the thickness of your uterine lining.

Next, you'll need to undergo blood tests to look at your hormone levels as well as other basic bloodwork. The results of your physical exam, ultrasound, and bloodwork will determine if PCOS is causing your problems.

PCOS Lab Tests

No single PCOS test can diagnose PCOS, so doctors usually order a combination of blood tests to help confirm a diagnosis.

The Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Screening Panel from Ulta Labs is a great place to start.

Your doctor will check your testosterone level initially to see if you're producing too many androgens. Usually, the testosterone level is high when you have PCOS.

Next is the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) level, which is usually normal or low in PCOS. Along with the FSH level, your doctor will check your luteinizing hormone (LH). The LH is generally high if you have PCOS.

Other tests ordered to rule out other conditions include a thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to check for a thyroid disorder and a cortisol level to check for Cushing syndrome. A human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) test is often ordered to check for pregnancy.

To assess your overall health, your doctor will also order a comprehensive metabolic profile, as well as check your glucose and insulin levels. To get a picture of your risk for heart disease, you'll also have your cholesterol and triglycerides checked.

Summary Of Hormonal Lab Tests Used When a Woman Is Being Evaluated For PCOS.

PCOS Risk Panels 

You can also order a PCOS Risk Panel from Ulta Lab Tests to assess your overall risk of developing the condition. The panel checks markers like insulin, glucose, thyroid, triglyceride, cholesterol levels, and more. This test will give you a good idea of where you stand.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Treatment

Although there is no cure for PCOS, treatments can reduce symptoms and dramatically improve your quality of life.

Your first course of treatment starts with making lifestyle changes. Maintaining a healthy weight with PCOS is essential since obesity can cause severe symptoms and complications. You'll also need to change your diet, eat foods high in fiber, and exercise daily.

PCOS treatment also includes medications to regulate your hormone levels. If you plan to become pregnant, your doctor might prescribe medications to help your ovaries release eggs and cause ovulation.

If you're not planning on pregnancy, you can be prescribed birth control pills to normalize menstrual cycles, reduce acne, and regulate hormone levels. 

Sometimes, doctors prescribe diabetes medications to lower your insulin resistance, reduce androgen levels, and help you ovulate normally.

FAQS About PCOS

Did you know PCOS is also referred to as Stein-Levanthal syndrome? In 1935, two American gynecologists, Dr. Michael L. Leventhal and Dr. Irving Stein, Sr., first discovered the connection between ovarian cysts and ovulation.

PCOS can occur either right before puberty or later on in life, but it's challenging to assess PCOS in women who have already started menopause as hormone levels begin to change.

Weight loss, exercise, and proper nutrition is the best way to lower your insulin resistance and drastically reduce your PCOS symptoms. By the age of 40, almost half of all women with PCOS develop diabetes or pre-diabetes.

You can still have regular menstrual cycles with PCOS, and not everyone with PCOS has cysts on their ovaries. You can still be diagnosed with PCOS if you have only high androgen levels and irregular periods.

PCOS affects your ability to breastfeed as milk production is often not adequate with PCOS.

Caring for Yourself With PCOS

Many women struggle with the obvious physical symptoms of PCOS like weight gain, acne, and extra hair growth. And a lot of women choose to have laser hair removal or other cosmetic treatments to feel better about the changes in their appearance.

Your mental health is essential, so don't forget to incorporate some self-care and mindfulness into your daily routine to help you deal with your symptoms. If you're feeling more down or depressed than usual, talk to your doctor about the symptoms bothering you and figure out a plan.

Remember, a PCOS diagnosis doesn't mean you're sentenced to a life of feeling lousy every day. Hope and health are on the horizon. You can take charge of your healing and make lifestyle changes that will bring your body back into balance.

Ordering Your PCOS Test with Ulta Lab Tests

Now that you have learned a little more about PCOS, it is time to take charge of your health and order the PCOS test that is right for you today. Select from the PCOS tests that Ulta Lab Tests offer to screen, monitor, and track your results and health. You won't be disappointed.

Benefits of PCOS Lab Testing with Ulta Lab Tests

Ulta Lab Tests provides direct access to order PCOS lab tests from Quest Diagnostics that are highly accurate and reliable. Our PCOS lab panels are designed to include specific tests to detect, monitor, and track your condition.

Benefits include secure and confidential results, no insurance or referral needed, affordable prices including the doctor's order, and more.

Secure and Confidential Results

Your test results are secure and confidential when you order a PCOS test with Ulta Lab Tests. They'll be sent directly to your secure patient portal typically in 1 to 2 days and no one else, so you can feel comfortable knowing you're taking care of your health without having to worry anyone else.

No Insurance or Referral Needed

One of the reasons you may be hesitant to get a test is because you don't have insurance or are uncertain of the cost. You might not be able to afford a doctor to give you a referral, or it may take months to get an appointment. We cut through all this red tape and make low-cost lab testing available to you.

Affordable Pricing Including the Doctor's Order

We also make our pricing affordable to get the PCOS test you need without paying an exorbitant amount. This includes the Doctor's Order, which saves you more money than you'd have to pay for the traditional route.

Prices for our tests are transparent, starting at $12.95, and are covered using Health Savings and Flexible Spending Accounts.

Finally, we provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you aren't happy with our service, we'll work to make it right.

Take control of your health today with Ulta Lab Tests.