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Test Code Cort Sal Cortisol, Saliva

Reporting Name

Cortisol, Saliva

Useful For

Screening for Cushing syndrome


Diagnosis of Cushing syndrome in patients presenting with symptoms or signs suggestive of the disease

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation:

1. Do not brush teeth before collecting specimen.

2. Do not eat or drink for 15 minutes prior to specimen collection.

Supplies: Cortisol, Saliva Collection Kit (T514)

Container/Tube: SARSTEDT Salivette (T514)

Specimen Volume: 1.5 mL

Collection Instructions:

1. Collect specimen between 11 p.m. and midnight, and record collection time.

2. To use the Salivette:

a. Remove top cap of container to expose swab.

b. Place swab directly into mouth by tipping container so swab falls into mouth. Do not touch swab with fingers.

c. Keep swab in mouth for approximately 2 minutes. Roll swab in mouth, do not chew swab.

d. Place swab back into its container without touching, and replace the cap.

3. Record collection time, and send appropriately labeled Salivette to laboratory.

Additional Information:

1. Reference values are also available for 8 a.m. (7 a.m.-9 a.m.) and 4 p.m. (3 p.m.-5 p.m.) collections, however, 11 p.m. to midnight collection is preferred.

2. Indicate collection time.

3. If multiple specimens are collected, submit each vial under a separate order.

Seattle Children's Hospital Note:

SARSTEDT Salivette preferred, other salivettes (such as Oasis Diagnostics) are acceptable.


If multiple samples collected on different days are received in lab, each sample needs its own financial encounter for billing purposes.

Specimen Type


Specimen Minimum Volume

0.6 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time
Saliva Refrigerated (preferred) 7 days
  Frozen  60 days
  Ambient  7 days

Day(s) and Time(s) Performed

Monday, Wednesday, Friday; 4 p.m.

Seattle Children's Hospital Note:

TAT: 4 - 6 days

Performing Laboratory

Mayo Medical Laboratories in Rochester

Method Name

Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)

Method Description

Deuterated cortisol (d3-cortisol) is added to 0.1 mL sample as an internal standard. Cortisol and d3-cortisol are extracted from the specimen using online turbulent flow HPLC and analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry using multiple reaction monitoring in positive mode. The following transitions are used for analysis: Cortisol: 363.3/121.1; d3-cortisol: 366.3/121.1.(Taylor RL, Machacek DA, Singh RJ: Validation of a high-throughput liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for urinary cortisol and cortisone. Clin Chem 2002; 48:1511-1519)

Reference Values

7 a.m.-9 a.m.: 100-750 ng/dL

3 p.m.-5 p.m.: <401 ng/dL

11 p.m.-midnight: <100 ng/dL

Test Classification

This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information


LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
SALCT Cortisol, Saliva 54235-7


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
84225 Cortisol, Saliva 51495-0
23612 AM Cortisol 51494-3
23613 PM Cortisol 51493-5
23614 Midnight Cortisol 51492-7

Reject Due To