Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes Center
Hasbro Children's Hospital

ACTH Stimulation Test

Your child’s doctor has recommended the ACTH Stimulation Test. This is a 30-minute to 1-hour test that begins in the morning. 
The ACTH Stimulation Test is administered at the Edwin N. Forman Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Center, located on the first floor of Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.

Why is this test needed if blood was already taken?

The purpose of the ACTH Stimulation Test is to determine if your child’s adrenal and pituitary glands are functioning normally. When your child has this test done, medication (Cortrosyn) is given to stimulate the adrenal gland to produce hormone(s). We then measure the hormone(s) at certain time points during the course of the test as specified by your endocrinologist.

How do we prepare for the test?

Your child can eat and drink before the test because this will not interfere with lab results.

What exactly can we expect? 

The nurse will draw baseline (initial) blood as ordered by your endocrinologist. The medication (Cortrosyn) will be given through the needle followed by normal saline (water solution). We rarely see side effects to this medication. After medication administration, another blood sample will be drawn in 30 minutes to 1 hour as specified by your endocrinologist.

What should we do after the test?

You may resume your daily activities.

When will the results be available?

Your endocrinologist will review the test results, and will usually contact you in 2 to 3 weeks to discuss the results. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled if the results are abnormal.

These are intended to be general guidelines. If you have specific questions about your child, please ask your doctor.

Any questions? Call 401-444-5504.