Specimen Requirements


Cortisone, Serum/Plasma

Specimen Requirement

Collect SST/0.5 mL serum, after 30 minutes of clotting, promptly centrifuge and send.

Alternate collection: Collect red top, lavender EDTA or green top heparin, centrifuge and transfer 0.5 mL serum/plasma to a screw top plastic vial within 4 hours of collection, indicate sample type on tube and send.


High-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC)/tandem mass spectrometry


Room temp: 7 days, Refrigerated: 7 days, Frozen: 7 days

Reference Range

The reference range is determined by the performing laboratory and will show on the report.


4-10 days

Clinical Use

The mineralocorticoid receptor binds cortisol as an active ligand, yet in normal people cortisol levels are not related to sodium retention. While in vitro the mineralocorticoid receptor has a similar affinity as aldosterone and cortisol, and in vivo cortisol is found in concentrations 100 to 1000 times higher than those of aldosterone, 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2 protects the mineralocorticoid receptor by reducing cortisol to cortisone, which is not an active ligand. This enzyme occurs in cells that contain the receptor. A similar enzyme is present in other tissues but works more slowly and backwards, converting cortisone to cortisol. Defects in this system can cause hypertension and can be diagnosed from the cortisol to cortisone ratio.

Test Code