Diagnostic Tests

Acth Stimulation Test For Dheas Blood


Acth Stimulation Test For Dheas Blood

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What is this test?

This test is used to evaluate the functioning of the adrenal gland. This test helps in detecting adrenal tumors or cancers.

What are DHEAS and ACTH?

Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate (DHEAS) is a male sex hormone (androgen) which is found mostly in men and in small amounts in women. It is produced by adrenal cortex and testis in men and in women, it is produced by ovaries. This hormone plays a role in the development of secondary sexual characters at puberty in males. This hormone gets converted into testosterone and androstenedione which are the potent androgens. This can also be converted into estrogen, a female sex hormone. It acts as a useful marker for the functioning of adrenal glands. The excess production of DHEA may lead to adrenal hyperplasia or adrenal tumors. It also causes early puberty in young boys. In women, it leads to the absence of menstrual periods and the development of male physical characteristics in women like facial hair growth. In female babies, it leads to the formation of genitals that are not distinctly male or female in appearance.

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulates the adrenal gland and it produces two hormones: adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline is also known as epinephrine. These hormones support the immune system and help in dealing with stress. Cortisol helps in different systems like the immune system, nervous system, circulatory system, in the metabolism of nutrients like proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

Why this test is performed?

This test is important to measure the functioning of your adrenal gland. This test may be recommended to you if you experience symptoms like irregular menstrual periods or absence of menstrual periods, development of male voice in females, enlargement of Adam's apple, excess hair growth on the face and body, baldness, decrease in the size of breasts, acne, etc. This test is also recommended in young girls whose genitals are not distinctly male or female. This test is recommended in young boys who have signs of early puberty like the development of a deep male voice, muscularity, pubic hair, enlarged penis size, etc.


The vitamin B7 supplements also known as biotin may interfere with your test results. Stop taking it 72 hours before the sample collection. Inform your doctor or technician about all your current medications and medical conditions prior to the test.

Also known as ACTH Stimulation Test For DHEAS.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Acth Stimulation Test For Dheas Blood. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Acth Stimulation Test For Dheas Blood.

No specific preparation is required for this test.

Understanding your test results

The reference range may vary depending on the gender, age, health history, your condition, etc.

If your test results are higher than the reference range, it may indicate DHEA production is excess and it is cause for the symptoms. It may also indicate the hormonal imbalance in your body, adrenocortical tumor, adrenal cancer, adrenal hyperplasia, DHEAS producing an ovarian tumor, Cushing's syndrome, etc. The levels may also be elevated in PCOS condition.

If your test results are lower than the reference range, it may be due to adrenal insufficiency, Addison's disease, adrenal dysfunction, hypopituitarism, etc.

If you get abnormal test results, consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor may recommend other tests depending on your test results.

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groupsAfter ACTH stimulation, if the stimulation fails to increase the level of DHEAS then the test is positive
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