Cortisol, Total




Cortisol is the major glucocorticoid produced and secreted by the adrenal cortex. It affects (a) the metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, (b) the maintenance of muscle and myocardial integrity, and (c) the suppression of inflammatory and allergic activities. Abnormal changes in cortisol levels occur due to hypothalamic, pituitary, or adrenal malfunction. If undiagnosed and untreated, these disorders can lead to severe metabolic imbalance which may be life-threatening.


1 mL Serum Refrigerated

Turn Around Time

1 day


Chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA)


Patients who have been regularly exposed to animals or have received immunotherapy or diagnostic procedures utilizing immunoglobulins or immunoglobulin fragments may produce antibodies, e.g. HAMA, that interfere with immunoassays.

Cortisol levels may appear depressed in patients that are pregnant or undergoing hormone therapy (e.g.oral/vaginal contraceptives). If the result does not match the clinical picture, perform a urinary (free) cortisol to confirm. Elevated cortisol levels may occur in patients receiving prednisolone or prednisone (which is converted to prednisolone in vivo) due to cross-reactivity to prednisolone.