The dexamethasone suppression test for the detection, diagnosis, and management of depression consists of two steps. Dexamethasone is administered orally, 1 mg in tablet form, at 2300 h. Then, samples of venous blood are drawn at 0800 h, 1600 h, and 2300 h the following day; in outpatients, only a 1600 h venous blood sample commonly is obtained.
A serum cortisol level greater than 4.5 to 5 µg/dL for any of the blood samples is abnormal and represents a positive test, depending on the assay used (1). Thus, it is important that the laboratory method used be precise and accurate
The Dexamethasone Suppression Test for the Detection, Diagnosis, and Management of Depression. Ann Intern Med. ;100:307–308. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-100-2-307
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1984;100(2):307-308.
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