The use of filter paper four point 24 hour cortisol profiles in the diagnosis and management of secondary adrenocortical deficiency was examined. Eighteen children with familial short stature and isolated growth hormone deficiency had normal 24 hour and morning plasma cortisol concentrations measured. Eight of 11 children with multiple pituitary hormone deficiencies had evidence of hypocorticalism despite previously normal baseline cortisols or responses to insulin hypoglycaemia or tetracosactrin. Nine of 11 children with hypopituitarism on replacement treatment (4.9-12.5 mg/m2/day) had satisfactory concentrations of cortisol, though morning cortisols were often low. Filter paper profiles are a simple, inexpensive, and relatively non-invasive way of managing children with suspected hypocorticalism and of monitoring their treatment.
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