Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-Also called adrenocorticotropin or corticotropin, this hormone is produced by the pituitary gland to stimulate the adrenal cortex to release various corticosteroid hormones.
This therapy is started in the first trimester when fetal adrenal production of androgens begins but before prenatal diagnosis is done that would provide definitive information about the sex of the fetus and its disease status.
In its most severe form, called salt-wasting (or salt-losing) CAH, where there is a total or near total deficiency of the 21-hydroxylase enzyme, a life-threatening adrenal crisis can occur if the disorder is untreated.
When too much ACTH is produced, the adrenal glands produce too much cortisone.
About 6 per cent of patients over 60 years of age harbor an adrenal adenoma.