Skip to Content
UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Cortisol

Test Code(s): CORT

CPT Code(s): 82533

Methodology: Chemiluminescent Immunoassay

Days Performed: Daily.

Turnaround Time: Stat: 1 hour.
Routine: 4 hours.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: Blood

Collection Container: Preferred: Red cap with yellow ring (SST)
Also Acceptable: Red top

Collection Volume: Preferred: 4 mL
Pediatrics: 1 mL

Sample Analyzed: Serum

Volume Required: Preferred: 1 mL
Pediatrics: 0.25 mL

Specimen Processing: Centrifuge.  If a complete barrier has not formed, transfer cell-free serum to plastic vial.  Refrigerate.

Specimen Transport: Transport specimen to UWHC Core Laboratory (B4/220). Transport with coolant pack if coming from outreach location.

Stability: Ambient: 8 hours
Refrigerated: 48 hours
Frozen: Freeze if sample will not be assayed within 48 hours


Interpretive Guidelines:


 AM:  4.3-22.4 mcg/dL
 PM:  3.1-16.7 mcg/dL

Applies to all ages. 


Cortisol levels may be artificially elevated in patients receiving prednisolone or prednisone (which is converted to prednisolone) due to the antibody's cross reactivity with prednisolone.

Test Limitations:

Results may be affected if patient has developed heterophilic antibodies due to exposure to animal based protein products.

Back to Lab Test Directory Index