Corticotropin LA (ACTH)
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ACTH is used primarily in dogs and cats for diagnostic testing of hypo- and hyper-adrenocorticism. This test measures cortisol response to exogenous ACTH. The degree of response may help differentiate between primary and secondary hypoadrenocorticism and, in cases of suspected hyperadrenocorticism, this test may be used to differentiate between iatrogenic and spontaneous causation. ACTH stimulation testing also is used to monitor the response to Trilostane therapy in animals with pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism.
Additional information regarding interpretation and protocols for ACTH stimulation testing may be found in many standard veterinary references including the Saunders Manual of Small-Animal Practice, Current Veterinary Therapy XII and Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook. One of the published protocols for dogs is a plasma or serum sample before and a second sample two hours after an intramuscular injection of 2.2Units/kg of ACTH gel. A similar protocol for cats is a plasma or serum sample before, at one hour and at two hours following an intramuscular injection of 2.2 Units/kg of ACTH gel. There are other published protocols and reference material should be consulted for interpretation information.