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Dynamic function tests (DFT's) involve either stimulating or suppressing a particular hormonal axis and observing the appropriate hormonal response.

Endocrine System 180X270 In general, if a deficiency is suspected a stimulation test should be used whilst if excess is considered likely, a suppression test is required.

Please use the links to the left to find out more information about individual sample protocols and dynamic function tests available at the Homerton. It is worth noting however, that improvements in diagnostic techniques and imaging in particular have lead to a reduction in the use of such protocols in recent years, as such only a relatively few are considered appropriate to routine clinical use and are listed here accordingly.

For further information on appropriate endocrine history-taking, examination and diagnostic procedures, please consult the online "Endobible" resource provided by the Imperial Centre for Endocrinology from which the protocols in use at the Homerton have been prepared.

Useful links: -

Endobible Biochemical Investigations
http://www.endobible.com/ Leeds Hospitals
DFT guidance

Top tips for dynamic function testing

  • Please ensure all samples collected as part of a dynamic function series are labelled with the time they were taken and the number they represent in a given sequence e.g. 0, 1, 2, 3 etc.
  • Please ensure all samples are submitted together (if collecting a baseline ACTH in conjunction with that of a synacthen test, bring the ACTH sample directly to the lab, so this can be processed immediately. The cortisol series should then be submitted separately once all samples have been drawn)
  • With the exception of glucose tolerance tests (2x samples format), all dynamic function tests should be handed over to laboratory personnel in person, so as to ensure they are dealt with appropriately 

Last updated: 25 February 2016