ACTH and Insulin Testing Help/Questions

Stephanie Stout

Hi Everyone,

I have a couple questions regarding ACTH and Insulin testing through Cornell(using EDTA Plasma). My vet(bless her dearly, but she's not the most organized) drew the blood samples on January 31st. Supposedly she did spin and freeze the samples within 4 hours, however the samples were not tested/finalized at Cornell until February 14th. 

I ran the blood work because King is extremely skinny and lethargic so I'm thinking his ACTH might be high - he's at 20mg Pergolide. The results came back at: 

ACTH 330 pg/mL (reference 9 - 35)
Insulin 81.04 iIU/mL (reference 10 - 40)

His last test was in August 2016 at 51 pg/mL ACTH. So, could he have actually risen that much? I bumped him up from 16mg to 20mg for the seasonal rise after that the August result came back. 

Is it possible the blood was too old and not accurate? Can the blood stay that long and still be accurate/good? I know that Cornell had confusion/trouble with the blood(but they wouldn't give me the exact issue). Is there a way to test the potency of the capsules from Pet Health? If he did shoot up from 51 pg/mL to 330, why would it go so high? Nothing has changed besides upping his Pergolide from 16 to 20mg for the rise.

The vet also did the same ACTH and Insulin test for a couple other of my horses(they don't have a Case History) and another one also came back super high compared to their August test.

Thank you for your help. I think I need some wine now. Panic attack on these numbers!


Stephanie & King
October 2014
Case History 

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