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Test Code CORT AM/CORT PM/ CORT R Cortisol

Clinical System Name

Cortisol Level (AM, PM, Baseline, Random or Post Dexamethasone)

Sample Requirements

Specimen: Whole blood

Container(s): Gold SST, Dark Green/Sodium Heparin, Lt. Green/Lithium Heparin Microtainer, Gold Microtainer, Red

Preferred Vol: 1.0 mL

Minimum Vol: 0.5 mL


Note: Draw sample at 0800 for AM, 1600 for PM. Note collection time (A.M. or P.M.) on the requisition. 


Processing Instructions

Reject due to: gross lipemia

Spin: Y

Aliquot: Y

Temp: 2-8 C

Storage location: CPA refrigerator, FrigD rack. Serum/plasma should be removed from separator for storage.

Off-site collection: Spin blood. Transfer serum/plasma to plastic aliquot container. Refrigerate.


Specimen Type Temperature Time
gel separator with serum/plasma Refrigerated 48 h
separated serum/plasma Room temp 2 h
  Refrigerated 5 d
  Frozen -20 C 4 w



STAT Performed TAT
N M-Sa, day shift 1-3 d


Contact Chemistry Lab for request outside of stated availability. (206) 987-2565

Performing Laboratory

Seattle Children's Laboratory    


Department:  Chemistry

Location: Chem West

Phone Number:  (206) 987-2617




Reference Range

Cortisol mcg/dL
Baseline (8:00 A.M..)  4.5 - 23
Post Dexamethasone (8:00 A.M.)  <5
Post ACTH  2 - 3 times baseline 

 P.M. Cortisol value is 1/2 of AM Cortisol value. 



Method: Chemiluminescence by Vitros 3600

Analytical Volume: 0.150 mL serum/plasma

Limitations: Turbidity may affect results. Hemolysis will affect results.

CPT Codes