Adrenocorticotropic Hormone Test – Normal Range

Normal ranges for ACTH are fairly broad and like cortisol levels are time-dependent. They also vary from assay to assay.

A typical normal range for an 8AM sample using the new assays is 10 to 50 picograms per milliliter (pg/ml); levels are usually less than 20 pg/ml at 4PM and less than 5-10 pg/ml at midnight.

Your doctor may advise you not to take any steroid drugs before your test. These can affect the accuracy of the results. ACTH levels are highest when you’ve just woken up. Your doctor will likely schedule your test for very early in the morning.

ACTH levels are tested using a blood sample. A blood sample is taken by drawing blood from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow.

Giving a blood sample involves the following steps:

  • A healthcare provider first cleans the site with an antiseptic to kill germs.
  • Then, they’ll wrap an elastic band around your arm. This causes the vein to swell with blood.
  • They’ll gently insert a needle syringe into your vein and collect your blood in the syringe tube. When the tube is full, the needle is removed.
  • The elastic band is then removed, and the puncture site is covered with sterile gauze to stop the bleeding.
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.