Dexamethasone suppression test abnormalities in multiple sclerosis: Relation to ACTH therapy

Anthony T. Reder*, Martin T. Lowy, Herbert Y. Meltzer, Jack P. Antel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We studied the 1-mg overnight dexamethasone suppression test (DST) in patients with MS. In about 50% of patients, serum cortisol did not fall below 5.0 µg/dl. This percentage was similar in patients with major depression, but contrasted to 11% in normal controls. MS nonsuppressors were not more depressed than suppressors; dexamethasone bioavailabitity may have contributed because nonsuppressors had lower serum dexamethasone levels than suppressors. Suppressors improved in the week following ACTH therapy; nonsuppressors did not. Furthermore, serum dexamethasone values correlated positively with clinical response to ACTH treatment. The DST may be a useful neuroendocrine test of glucocorticoid sensitivity in MS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-853
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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