The corticorelin stimulation test helps to differentiate between the etiologies of ACTH-dependent hypercortisolism. It is used to evaluate the status of the pituitary-adrenal axis in the differentiation of a pituitary source from an ectopic source of excessive ACTH secretion.
If corticorelin injection increases plasma levels of ACTH and cortisol, a diagnosis of Cushing's disease is achieved (ACTH of pituitary origin).
If corticorelin injection leads to little or no response in plasma levels of ACTH or cortisol, a diagnosis of Ectopic ACTH syndrome is confirmed.
^Andoh K, Kimura T, Saeki I, et al (June 1994). "General pharmacological properties of the human corticotropin-releasing hormone corticorelin (human)". Arzneimittelforschung44 (6): 715–26. PMID8053970.