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Table 4 Summary of articles describing sex differences in pharmacological stress tests

From: Is HPA axis reactivity in childhood gender-specific? A systematic review

Author (year) Sample size Age Study protocol Sampling points Sampling medium Results
Dahl (1992) 25 10.3 ± 1.6 years CRH challenge: 1 μg/kg i.v. in the late afternoon 9×, 3 before, 6 after Blood Greater peak in boys
Dorn (1996) 20 control subjects 15.1 ± 1.0 years CRH challenge: 1 μg/kg i.v. in the evening 12×, 6 before, 6 after Blood No sex differences; groups matched for pubertal status, effect not analyzed
Forest (1978) 20 infants, 35 prepubertal children Infants: 5–365 days; children: 1–12.6 years ACTH test: 500 μg/m2 i.m. at 8:00 and 20:00 on 3 days 2×, 1 before, 1 after Blood No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed
Lashansky (1991) 102 2 months–17 years ACTH test: 0.25 mg i.v. in the morning 2×, 1 before, 1 after Blood No sex differences; decrease in stimulated cortisol levels with puberty, more pronounced in boys
Ross (1986) 21 6–15 years CRH challenge: 1 μg/kg i.v. in the evening 7×, 2 before, 5 after Blood No sex differences; pubertal status not associated with reactivity
Stroud (2011) 68 11.6 ± 1.9 years CRH challenge: 1 μg/kg i.v. in the late afternoon 9–10×, 3 before, 6–7 after Blood Sex by Tanner differences: girls increase and boys decrease in cortisol with pubertal maturation, girls decrease and boys are stable in reactivity. Boys have larger peak change
Tsvetkova (1977) 31 4–14 years ACTH test: 0.5 mg i.m. in the morning 2×, 1 before, 1 after Blood No sex differences; pubertal status not assessed