Corticosteroid medicine can be used to treat a number of chronic illnesses. Some people may not get the most benefit when corticosteroid medication is used as treatment. A steroid kinetic study can help identify how the body uses the medication.
The steroid kinetic study can be done to:
- Determine how the oral corticosteroid is absorbed by the body and,
- Determine how the oral corticosteroid is eliminated by the body.
Your doctor has suggested you/your child have this study as part of the evaluation at National Jewish Health.
How do you get ready for the study?
First, you will meet with a healthcare provider who specializes in steroid kinetics. After this visit the steroid kinetics study will be scheduled if indicated.
The day of the steroid kinetic study.
- Drink plenty of water so you aren't dehydrated.
- If lidocaine cream is being used to numb the area please arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of time.
- Take your medicine as you usually do, except do not take the oral corticosteroid the morning of the test. Common oral corticosteroids include prednisone and prednisolone.
What is done during the study?
You/your child will have a series of blood tests during the steroid kinetics study. The first blood draw is before 8:00 am the day of the study. You/your child will take a dose of an oral corticosteroid medicine. Blood will then be drawn periodically during the day. You will be given a schedule of when and where to report to have blood drawn.
Lidocaine cream can be placed on the site where the blood will be drawn to numb the area if you would like. The cream will need to be placed on the site at least 30 minutes before the blood is drawn.
The blood will be tested in the lab. It may take several days to get the results back. Once the results are in, your healthcare provider will compare the results with your history of symptoms to recommend a treatment plan.
How long will the test take?
You will have the visit with the healthcare provider who specializes in steroid kinetics one day. The steroid kinetics study will be done on another day. The blood test often takes less than 5 minutes to complete, but the entire study will begin before 8:00 am and continue until late in the afternoon or evening.
If lidocaine cream is applied this should be done at least 30 minutes before the blood is drawn.
How do you get to your study?
Adults - On the day of your scheduled study, report to the Adult Clinic. If you are an adult patient and have questions please call 303-398-1355.
Children - On the day of your scheduled test, report to the Pediatric Clinic. The pediatric clinic is on the second floor of the Gaulter Building. If you are a parent of a pediatric patient and have questions please call 303-398-1355.
This information has been approved by Joseph Spahn, MD (February 2010).