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PURPOSE: No consensus exists as the gold standard for Cushing's Syndrome (CS) screening. This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy and utility of late-night salivary cortisol (LNSC) and cortisone (LNSE), overnight dexamethasone suppression test (ODST), and urinary free cortisol (UFC) in developing a screening algorithm for CS. METHODS: A retrospective, single-centre analysis on 93 adult patients referred to the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism for CS evaluation (2017-2022). Data were analysed using binomial logistic regression and area under the receiver-operating curve (AUROC). RESULTS: Fifty-three patients were diagnosed with CS. LNSC (sensitivity 87.5%, specificity 64.9%, AUC 0.76), LNSE (sensitivity 72.4%, specificity 85.7%, AUC 0.79), and ODST (sensitivity 94.7%, specificity 52.1%; AUC 0.74) demonstrated comparable effectiveness for CS diagnosis. Their combined application increased diagnostic accuracy (AUC 0.91). UFC was not statistically significant. Pre-test clinical symptom inclusion improved screening test performance (AUC LNSC: 0.83; LNSE: 0.84; ODST: 0.82). For CD diagnosis, LNSE + LNSC (AUC 0.95) outperformed ODST. Combining these with ACTH levels 

Original publication




Journal article


J Endocrinol Invest

Publication Date



24 h urinary free cortisol, Cushing’s Syndrome, Late night salivary cortisol, Late night salivary cortisone, Overnight dexamethasone test