Ordering Recommendation

Use to rule out Cushing syndrome or screen for thymic and bronchial carcinoid tumors.

New York DOH Approval Status

This test is New York state 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 (noncitric 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


Quantitative: Mass Spectrometry




1-4 days

Reference Interval

By report

Interpretive Data

Reference Intervals:

7 a.m. to 9 a.m.: 0.1-0.75 ug/dL

3 p.m. to 5 p.m.: <0.401 ug/dL

11 p.m. to midnight: <0.1 ug/dL

Compliance Category

Laboratory Developed Test (LDT)


Bovine hormones normally present in dairy products can cross-react with anticortisol 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.

Testing is not New York approved, and there are no NY approved laboratories available. Specimens received from NY clients need to be placed on Except. Client can either cancel testing, request specimen be returned, or submit a New York State Non-Permitted Laboratory Request Form (NPL) to NYSDOH requesting approval for ARUP to perform testing.

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.


Cortisol by LC-MS/MS, Salivary