A comparison between the effects of low (1 microg) and standard dose (250 microg) ACTH stimulation tests on adrenal cortex functions with Behçet's disease

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2006 Jul;20(6):721-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2006.01626.x.


Introduction: Behçet's disease is a rare, chronic disorder. The cause of Behçet's disease is unknown. It is believed to be caused by an autoimmune reaction. As in other chronic autoimmune diseases, Behçet's disease may show a subclinical adrenal failure and some changes in cortisol levels. We aimed to evaluate adrenal gland function in Behçet's disease patients.

Material and method: This study included 18 Behçet's disease patients and 15 healthy controls. Patient and control groups were administered i.v. 1 microg low dose test (LDT) and 250 microg standard dose test (SDT) adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation test after 12 h of night fasting with an interval of 3-days and cortisol responses in the 0th, 30th and 60th minutes were evaluated.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference between basal cortisol values of Behçet's disease and control groups. Cortisol values in the 60th minute in LDT were significantly lower in Behçet's disease group than in the control group. In the peak cortisol responses to LDT, a significant decrease was found in Behçet's disease group.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis is partially suppressed in Behçet's disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex / drug effects*
  • Adrenal Cortex / physiology*
  • Adrenal Cortex Function Tests
  • Adrenal Insufficiency / diagnosis*
  • Adrenal Insufficiency / etiology
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone* / administration & dosage
  • Adult
  • Behcet Syndrome / blood
  • Behcet Syndrome / complications*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / physiology
  • Male
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / physiology


  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Hydrocortisone