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Cortisol - urine
Alternative names24-hour urinary free cortisol (UFC)
A cortisol urine test measures the amount of cortisol in the urine.
How the test is performedA 24-hour urine sample is needed. The health care provider will instruct you, if necessary, to discontinue drugs that may interfere with the test.
This procedure may take a couple of attempts -- lively infants can displace the bag, causing the specimen to be absorbed by the diaper. The infant should be checked frequently and the bag changed after the infant has urinated into the bag. The urine is drained into the container for transport to the laboratory.
Deliver it to the laboratory or your health care provider as soon as possible upon completion.
How to prepare for the testNo special preparation is necessary for this test, but if the collection is being taken from an infant, a couple of extra collection bags may be necessary.
How the test will feelThe test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.
Why the test is performed
The test is used to evaluate for increased or decreased cortisol production.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone released from the adrenal gland in response to ACTH , a hormone from the anterior pituitary gland in the brain. Cortisol levels rise and fall during the day. Highest levels occur at about 6 to 8 a.m. and lowest levels at about midnight.
Cortisol affects many different body systems. It plays a role in lipid, carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Cortisol also plays a role in the bone, circulatory, nervous and immune systems. Cortisol is critical for normal stress responses. Different diseases, such as Cushing's disease and Addison's disease, can lead to either over- or under-production of cortisol. Urinary free cortisol measurements can help to diagnose these conditions.
Normal ValuesThe normal range is 10 to 100 mcg/24 h. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories.
Note: mcg/24 h = micrograms per 24 hours
What abnormal results meanIncreased levels of urine cortisol may indicate:
Special considerationsInterfering factors:
Update Date: 2/2/2004Tarun Jain, M.D., Endocrinology & Infertility Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT