How Much Does The ACTH Stimulation Test Cost?
The ACTH Stimulation Test is designed to determine whether the cortisol level of the body is beyond the normal limits. The possible conditions that may cause this include Addison’s disease, adrenal insufficiency, Cushing’s disease, and pituitary gland dysfunction.
This test is usually only ordered for people who deomnstrate signs of abnormal cortisol level such as obesity, muscle weakness, acne, hypertension, and low potassium levels. The said test can also be administered to dogs to detect Cushing’s disease.
How much is it?
- An ACTH stimulation test is performed at hospitals, laboratories, or at a doctor’s clinic and is done by a laboratory technician, nurse, or doctor. The cost of the test on average is between $150-$200.
- If you have health insurance, consult with the insurance company to see what is covered and what you will have to pay.
What are the extra costs?
- If the test shows an abnormal cortisol level, you may need to purchase medicine or undergo additional medical procedures and testing. There is then the chance that you will have to take the test again to see how your body responded to the treatment.
- Some patients choose to re-administer in order to double-check results.
What is going to be included?
- The test uses three blood samples and one injection.
- The necessary equipment for the test, which includes needles and syringes, collecting tubes for the blood samples, etc., will be included.
- Once the results are ready, the doctor will read the results and discuss what is best for your health.
- During the procedure, a small amount of ACTH will be injected. This test is designed to diagnose or exclude primary and secondary adrenal insufficiency. It is primarily designed to help find diseases such as the Addison’s disease.
Tips to know:
- Before the test begins, most doctors will ask that the person fasts for at least 8 hours. This will ensure that the test can give accurate results.
- It’s also recommend that foods that have a high level of salt should be avoided for more than 24 hours before test. Salt is another ingredient that can commonly throw off the results as well.
- It’s also ideal that the patient comes in stress-free. Stress can artificially increase levels and can throw off the test results.
- Common side effects that have been found to happen after the test may include things such as sweating, itchy skin, flushing and even blur vision. While it can be common in many patients, it’s best to consult with a doctor if these side effects happen for more than one day.
How can I save money?
- To avoid repetition of the test, follow very carefully the instructions given by your doctor about pre-test preparations. For instance, you need to rest for 30 minutes before the sample is taken, no smoking is allowed for 24 hours prior, and no food and liquid intake 12 hours prior. You should also inform your doctor if you are currently taking an medications. If you fail to follow any of these instructions, the test may have to be taken again.
- Some doctors and hospitals offer discounts for cash patients.
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