Article |

The Dexamethasone Suppression Test and Pituitary-Adrenocortical Function

Walter Armin Brown, MD; Gabor Keitner, MD; C. Brandon Qualls, MD; Richard Haier, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1985;42(2):121-123. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790250015001.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

• The dexamethasone suppression test (DST) as now commonly carried out in psychiatric settings yields "abnormal" results in many conditions including the healthy state. To determine whether the DST accurately identifies patients with physiologically meaningful increases in pituitary-adrenocortical activity, we compared DST results to baseline urinary cortisol level. Thirty-four psychiatric inpatients underwent a 24-hour urine collection and then a DST using 1 or 2 mg of dexamethasone. With the common 1-mg DST, 24-hour urinary cortisol levels in nonsuppressors and suppressors did not differ. With the 2-mg DST, however, nonsuppressors had significantly higher urinary cortisol levels than suppressors, and all nonsuppressors had urinary cortisol levels above the normal range. Thus, the 1-mg DST may not identify the heuristically important subgroup of psychiatric patients who have a pathophysiologically meaningful alteration in pituitary-adrenal regulation.


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours





Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.