The nurse is implementing a dexamethasone suppression test on a patient with Cushing's syndrome. Which of the following steps should the nurse plan on implementing?

Administer the dexamethasone at night and measure serum cortisol the following morning.

Explanation

• Dexamethasone is administered at around 23:00 and then serum levels are measured the following morning.

• The dexamethasone suppression test measures the negative feedback mechanism between cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Normally, an increase in cortisol will cause a decrease in ACTH secretion.

• This test helps differentiate among the different types of Cushing's syndrome.

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