Dexamethasone Suppression TestThis test requires administration of dexamethasone, an oral steroid. Dexamethasone suppresses levels of circulating adrenal steroid hormones in normal people but fails to suppress them in patients with Cushing's syndrome and some forms of clinical depression.
Procedure And Posttest Care
A cortisol level of 5g/dl (140 nmol/L) or greater indicates failure of dexamethasone suppression.
A normal test result doesn't rule out major depression, but an abnormal result strengthens a clinically based diagnosis. Failure of suppression occurs in patients with Cushing's syndrome, severe stress, and depression that's likely to respond to treatment with antidepressants.
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