Ordering Recommendation

Rule out Cushing syndrome. Screen for thymic and bronchial carcinoid tumors.




Quantitative Enzyme Immunoassay


Mon, Wed, Fri


1-4 days

New York DOH Approval Status

This test is New York DOH approved.

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation

Do not collect specimen within 60 minutes after eating a meal, within 12 hours after consuming alcohol, immediately after brushing teeth or after any activity that may cause gums to bleed. Rinse mouth thoroughly with water 10 minutes before specimen collection. Recommended collection time is between 11:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.


Saliva. Swab must be completely saturated to ensure sufficient volume for testing.

Specimen Preparation

Transfer saturated swab to plain (non-citric acid) cotton Salivette® collection device (ARUP Supply #52056). Record the time of collection on the test request form, and on Salivette® transport container.

Storage/Transport Temperature


Unacceptable Conditions

Specimens not collected using the Salivette® collection device. Sodium azide preservative. Specimens with pH values greater than 9.0 or less than 3.5 must be recollected. Specimens visibly contaminated with blood, cellular debris, food particles, or mucus.


Ambient: 1 week; Refrigerated: 3 weeks; Frozen: 6 months

Reference Interval

By report

Interpretive Data

For a collection at 2300 hr, the normal cortisol concentration is less than 0.112 µg/dL.  Patients with Cushing's Syndrome have concentrations of  0.112 µg/dL or greater.

Compliance Category



Bovine hormones normally present in dairy products can cross-react with anti-cortisol antibodies and cause false results.  Acidic or high sugar foods can compromise assay performance by lowering sample pH and influencing bacterial growth.  Samples with pH values greater than 9.0 or less than 3.5 must be recollected.

Hotline History


CPT Codes



Component Test Code* Component Chart Name LOINC
0081118 Cortisol, Saliva 2142-8
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please click the sidebar link to access the Interface Map.


  • Free Cortisol
  • Nighttime Salivary Cortisol
  • Salivary Cortisol
  • Salivary Cushings
  • Salivary Hydrocortisone
Cortisol, Saliva