Determination of salival cortisol levels in healthy schoolchildren and adolescents
PDF (Español (España))
xhtml (Español (España))


Salivary cortisol
Cushing síndrome
Adrenal insufficiency

How to Cite

Garzón Ruiz, V., Pérez Betancur, C., & Abad Londoño, V. (2021). Determination of salival cortisol levels in healthy schoolchildren and adolescents. Revista Colombiana De Endocrinología, Diabetes &Amp; Metabolismo, 8(2).


Objective: To determine salivary cortisol values in a small group of healthy schoolchildren and adolescents between the ages of 6-18 in the city of Medellín and determine their relationship with the circadian cycle according to the time of sampling.

Introduction: Salivary cortisol is an ultrafiltrate of plasma cortisol and reflects biologically active levels, this follows the circadian variation of serum cortisol, finding the highest levels in the morning and lower levels at midnight.

Methods: A descriptive observational study was carried out in which healthy schoolchildren and adolescents between 6 and 18 years of age were included. Two samples of saliva were collected in each child, the first at 8:00 a.m. and the second at 23:00 a.m. on the same day. The samples were processed by enzymatic immunoassay (EIA-ELISA) in Abad laboratory of the city of Medellín. The statistical method of Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Shapiro-Wilk was used to determine normality. For the presentation of results, the measures of central tendency and dispersion were used according to the normality of the variable.

Results: Data from 31 individuals were analyzed. 51.6 % of the population were men. The average age was 11.26 years (± 3.4) and the average BMI was 18.1 kg/m2 (± 2.8). With respect to cortisol levels, the cortisol level at 08:00 a.m. a median of 4.39 ng/ml was obtained (RIQ 2.76-6.98); and for the cortisol level at 11:00 p.m., a median of 0.51 ng/ml (RIQ 0.41-0.84) was obtained. There were no significant differences by sex.

Conclusion: The average salivary cortisol values in the group of healthy schoolchildren and adolescents in the city of Medellín are within the reference values reported in international studies, so it is recommended for the diagnosis and monitoring of hyper / hypocortisolism.
PDF (Español (España))
xhtml (Español (España))


Stefanie Hahner, R J. Ross, Wiebke Arlt, IB, et al. Adrenal insufficiency, Nature Reviews Disease Primers 7, 19 (2021).

Ghizzoni L, Cappa M, Chrousos G, Loche S, Maghnie M (eds): Update on the Corticomedullary Interaction in the Adrenal Gland Pediatric Adrenal Diseases. Endocr Dev. Basel, Karger, 2011; 20: 28-37.

Cardoso E, Arregger A, Tumilasci O, Contreras L. Diagnostic value of salivary cortisol in Cushing's syndrome (CS). Clinical Endocrinology (2009); 70(4): 516-521.

Nieman L, Biller B, Findling J, Newell-Price J, Savage M, Stewart P, et al. The diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome: An endocrine society clinical practice guideline. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (2008); 93(5): 1526-1540.

Endocrinology. Values & S.I. Unit Conversion Tables. November 25, 2016 | Author: Milton Hancock | página 17.

Nieman L. Measurement of cortisol in serum and saliva. Up to Date, 1-12. Retrieved from; 2013. Last literature review version 19.3.

Stratakis CA. Cushing Syndrome in Pediatrics. Endocrinol Metab Clin N Am; (2012); 41(4):793-803.

Jason Klein, P, Vuguin, SH. Cushing Syndrome. Pediatrics In Review 2014;35(9):405-407.

Adrenal Insufficiency Moises Auron and Nouhad Raissouni Pediatrics in Review March 2015;36(3):92-103.

Cortisol and 17-Hydroxyprogesterone Kinetics in Saliva after Oral Administration of Hydrocortisone in Children and Young Adolescents with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia due to 21-Hydroxylase Deficiency Michael Gro¨ Schl, Manfred Rauh, and Helmuth G. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 2002;87(3):1200-1204.

Subjective Stress, Salivary Cortisol, and Electrophysiological Responses to Psychological Stress Mingming Qi1, Heming Gao2, Lili Guan1, Guangyuan Liu1,3* and Juan Yang1Front. Psychol., 2016 (7) artículo 229.

Social Stress Increases Cortisol and Hampers Attention in Adolescents with Excess Weight: Verdejo-Garcia A, Moreno-Padilla M, Garcia-Rios MC, Lopez-Torrecillas F, Delgado-Rico E, Schmidt-Rio-Valle J, et al. (2015). PLoS ONE 10(4): e0123565.

Ma D, Serbin LA, Stack DM. How children's anxiety symptoms impact the functioning of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis over time: A cross-lagged panel approach using hierarchical linear modeling. Dev Psychopathol. 2019;31(1):309-323.

Schorr M, Lawson E, Dichtel L, Klibanski A, Miller K. Cortisol measures across the weight spectrum. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015;100(9):3313-21.

Turpeinen U, Hämäläinen E. Determination of cortisol in serum, saliva and urine. Best Pract. Res. Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013;27(6):795-801.

Chiappin S, Antonelli G, Gatti R, De Palo EF. Saliva specimen: a new laboratory tool for diagnostic and basic investigation. Clin Chim Acta. 2007;383(1-2):30-40.

Michels N, Sioen I, De Vriendt T, Huybrechts I, Vanaelst B, De Henauw S. Children's morning and evening salivary cortisol: pattern, instruction compliance and sampling confounders. Horm. Res. Paediatr. 2012;77:27-35.

Netherton C, Goodyer I, Tamplin A, Herbert J. Salivary cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone in relation to puberty and gender. Psychoneuroendocrinology; (2004);29:125-140.

Kjölhede E, Gustafsson P, Gustafsson P, Nelson N. Overweight and obese children have lower cortisol levels than normal weight children. Acta Paediatrica (2014);103(3): 295-9.

Sondeijker F, Ferdinand R, Oldehinkel A, Veenstra R, Tiemeier H, Ormel J, Verhulst F. Disruptive behaviors and HPA-axis activity in young adolescent boys and girls from the general population. J Psychiatr Res. 2007;41(7):570-8.

Kiess W, Meidert A, Dressendorfer RA, Schriever K, Kessler U, Konig A, et al. Salivary cortisol levels throughout childhood and adolescence: relation with age, pubertal stage, and weight. Pediatr. Res. (1995);37(Pt 1):502-6.

M. Lépez, et al. Determinación de los niveles de cortisol salival en una muestra de sujetos de Santiago de Chile, Rev. Med. Chile (2010);138:168-174.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2021 Revista Endocrino




Download data is not yet available.