Cortisol PM


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Quest Diagnostics Test Code: 4213

This test is used to measure Cortisol levels in the blood late in the day. Cortisol testing is usually ordered to aid in the diagnosis of conditions related to the adrenal and pituitary glands such as Addison’s Disease, Cushing’s Syndrome, Adrenocortical Insufficiency or Hypersecretion.

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Proper Cortisol levels are important for helping the body to maintain a number of functions such as blood pressure, glucose levels, immune response, and stress management. Cortisol testing is often ordered with an ACTH test to help evaluate adrenal and pituitary functions.

Symptoms which may indicate irregular Cortisol levels include:

Unusually high or low blood pressure
High blood sugar
Fragile skin
Purple streaks on the abdomen
Muscle wasting and weakness
Weight loss
Abdominal pain
Dark patches of skin
This test is typically ordered to determine if a person’s Cortisol levels are at a normal level late in the day. Cortisol levels usually start out high in the morning and drop in the evening. Collection for this test should be done between 3pm-5pm when Cortisol levels are typically lower. Conditions such as pregnancy, elevated stress levels, certain medications and hormone therapy can all affect Cortisol levels. It is important to take these into account when results are interpreted.

In some cases, multiple collections at different times of day may be needed for the most accurate assessment of a person’s Cortisol levels. A Cortisol AM & PM test can be ordered by a person who requires 2 blood collections.

Turnaround time for the Cortisol PM test is typically 2-3 business days.


The specimen for this test should be collected between 3-5pm. This test is not recommended when someone is receiving prednisone/prednisolone therapy due to cross-reactivity with the antibody used in this test.


Specimen Collected
  • Blood
Estimated Time Taken

Turnaround time for the Cortisol PM test is typically 2-3 business days.