Notice: Users may be experiencing issues with displaying some pages on stanfordhealthcare.org. We are working closely with our technical teams to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
A laboratory workup is performed for individuals with signs and/or symptoms compatible with Cushing's syndrome. Tests include:
24-hour urinary free cortisol level: This is the most specific diagnostic test. The patient will collect urine over a 24-hour period. An elevated urinary cortisol level suggests Cushing's syndrome. Usually, this test needs to be repeated several times for confirmation.
1 mg overnight dexamethasone suppression test: In this test, the patient takes 1 mg of dexamethasone and a fasting cortisol is drawn at 8 a.m. the next day. If the blood cortisol level is not suppressed, Cushing's syndrome is suggested.
Late night salivary cortisol test: In this test, cortisol values in saliva are measured. Between 11 p.m. and midnight, the patient places a cotton swab in the mouth, and then places the moist cotton into a tube. An elevated salivary cortisol late at night may suggest the presence of Cushing’s syndrome.
Other testing to determine the cause of Cushing’s syndrome may be done for each individual.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.