The objective of the current study was to compare cortisol concentrations in serum and salivary samples taken concurrently from halter-restrained lambs administered ACTH (100 IU, i.v.) or saline. Although cortisol appeared elevated in all animals, it tended to increase after ACTH administration in both serum (p = 0.085) and saliva (p = 0.078). Additionally, correlation (r = 0.66; p < 0.001) and regression (R2 = 0.44; p < 0.001) analysis revealed a relationship between cortisol in serum and saliva. Findings indicate that salivary cortisol is indicative of serum cortisol and may provide a viable non-invasive alternative for cortisol quantification.
Key words: ACTH challenge, saliva collection, salivary cortisol.
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