Hair analysis may help diagnose Cushing Syndrome, NIH researchers report

Small study suggests that high cortisol level in hair may foretell hard-to-diagnose disorder.

Analyzing a hair sample may help with the diagnosis of Cushing Syndrome, a rare and potentially fatal disorder in which the body overproduces the stress hormone cortisol, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

Diagnosing Cushing Syndrome is often difficult and time-consuming, requiring 24 hours to analyze blood and urine tests, brain imaging tests, and tissue samples from sinuses at the base of the skull. The researchers found that measuring cortisol levels in hair samples tracked closely with standard techniques for diagnosing Cushing Syndrome.

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This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022