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Salivary cortisol

Cortisol is an essential glucocorticoid steroid produced by the adrenal cortex. Cortisol circulates bound to cortisol binding protein (CBG) with only 15% being the unbound biologically active form. The saliva concentration generally reflects the free cortisol concentration in serum and may be useful in the investigation of cyclical Cushing's syndrome due to the non-invasive nature of sample collection.

Sample requirements and reference range

Sample type  Saliva (passive drool)
Container  5 mL plain (can be supplied by laboratory)
Precautions  If multiple samples collected over several weeks, store frozen and  send by 1st class post.
Minimum volume  2.5 mL
Reference range

 am: 5 - 25 nmol/L

 pm: <10 nmol/L

Turnaround time  35 days
Method  Liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry
Quality Assurance
IBL Salivary Steroids QAS
Last Updated: 30 April 2019