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Corticotropin releasing hormone stimulation test and nocturnal cortisol levels in normal children



Corticotropin releasing hormone stimulation test and nocturnal cortisol levels in normal children



Pediatric Research 32(1): 64-68



This study examined hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning in a group (n = 25) of very carefully screened normal children with considerable attention to issues of adaptation and procedural stress. The subjects (mean age 10.3 +/- 1.6 y) were selected as "supernormal" controls as a part of a large psychobiologic study of childhood depression. After careful acclimatization over 24 h, the subjects underwent all-night sampling of plasma cortisol every 20 min, then the following evening had a corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) stimulation test (using human CRH). Human CRH resulted in a rapid stimulation of adrenocorticotropin and cortisol. Adrenocorticotropin levels increased from 6.8 +/- 3.5 (+/- SD) pmol/L (30.7 +/- 16.1 pg/dL) to a peak of 11.6 +/- 5.5 pmol/L (52.9 +/- 24.8 pg/mL) at 15 min with return to baseline levels by 60 min. Cortisol levels increased from 131.4 +/- 59.7 nmol/L (4.8 +/- 2.2 micrograms/dL) to a peak of 427.0 +/- 113.5 nmol/L (15.5 +/- 4.1 micrograms/dL) at 30 min with return to baseline by 120 min. The cortisol peak was significantly greater (p less than 0.05) in boys [474.6 +/- 129.7 nmol/L (17.2 +/- 4.7 micrograms/dL)] than in girls [366.9 +/- 52.4 nmol/L (13.3 +/- 1.9 micrograms/dL, p less than 0.05)]. Age, body mass index, and pubertal status were not significantly related to hypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal axis measures. Nocturnal cortisol reached a nadir at 160 +/- 60 min after sleep onset (0102 h) and a peak 480 +/- 60 min after sleep onset (0612 h). Nocturnal cortisol levels were significantly (positively) correlated with human CRH-stimulated cortisol (r = 0.56, p = 0.004).

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Accession: 007165307

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 1321974

DOI: 10.1203/00006450-199207000-00012


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