ADH, also called vasopressin, is a hormone produced by the hypothalamus that controls normal amounts of water within the body. This blood test measures levels of ADH and is mainly used to diagnose diabetes insipidus (DI), which is caused either by not enough production of ADH or a reduced sensitivity of the kidneys to ADH. Anxiety, stress, illness, or surgery can lead to high levels of ADH. Levels of ADH may also be greatly increased in the syndrome of inappropriate ADH secretion (SIADH), which is usually the result of lung infections or cancer, trauma, surgery, or central nervous system tumors.
The water deprivation ADH stimulation test is used to determine whether DI is caused by a neurological problem or kidney problem. The water load test (ADH suppression test) is used to determine the cause of abnormally high levels of ADH.
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