The insulin test carried out with adequate safeguards under standardized conditions yields valuable information regarding hypothalamic and pituitary function when plasma levels of sugar, cortisol, and growth hormone are determined. The use of a test based on the plasma cortisol response to the infusion of lysine-vasopressin, a polypeptide with a corticotrophin-releasing action, is also of value as a test of pituitary function. Used in conjunction with the insulin test it enables pituitary disorders to be differentiated from those involving the hypothalamus.
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