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What you need to know about Dexamethasone Suppression Tests

From The Pituitary Center at Vanderbilt

Dexamethasone suppression tests are employed by The Pituitary Center at Vanderbilt in the evaluation of patients with Cushing's syndrome.

Dexamethasone Suppression Tests

Dexamethasone suppression tests have been employed for more than 30 years in the evaluation of patients with Cushing's syndrome. Several variations have been developed since Dr. Grant Liddle of Vanderbilt first reported on the usefulness of the classical test in 1960.

The adrenal glands produce cortisol, the major glucocorticoid hormone in man, in response to signals provided by the pituitary gland. Dexamethasone is a synthetic glucocorticoid hormone. In normal subjects, daily doses of Dexamethasone in excess of 0.5-0.75 mg, can suppress the coordinated functions of the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands. Dexamethasone often fails to suppress the function of the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands in patients with Cushing's disease or syndrome. These observations form the basis for the Dexamethasone suppression tests.

You should ensure that all collection bottles are labeled with your name, the start date of the collection, and as an extra precaution, indicate the day of the collection (day 1, day 2, and so on). Transport the specimens to the designated facility for testing.

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