Endocrinology Submission Guidelines

Please review these submission guidelines. The condition and quality of the specimen received plays a major factor in the accuracy of test results. Please do not send whole blood. Serum is the preferred sample type for the majority of the endocrine tests we offer. Unless indicated below in the "Specific Submission Guidelines" section, the recommended specimen collection procedure is:

  • Collect blood in a tube without any additives (plain red top tube, preferred).
  • Allow the blood to clot for approximately 30 minutes or longer to increase yield for sample test requirements.
  • Centrifuge at a speed and time (~10 minutes) that allow for adequate separation and specimen volume.
  • Transfer the serum into a tube properly labeled and appropriate for shipping and/or frozen storage. Polypropylene or plastic tubes are recommended.
  • Store the aliquoted serum in a freezer prior to shipping especially if the time before pick-up will be 12 hours or more.
  • Ship serum on cold packs, preferably using an overnight or 2-day courier service.
  • Samples should optimally arrive either frozen or chilled.
  • To ensure proper sample handling and identification, please write legibly on tubes and accession forms.

If using serum separator tubes (SST) for sample collection, do not ship the serum in them. Transfer the serum to a separate tube as described above. Some brands of SST may have additives that can cause assay interference and affect results. Do not send severely hemolyzed or lipemic samples. If you have any submission questions, contact the Endocrinology Laboratory at 607-253-3673.

Lag Time

Endocrinology lag time ranges are based on test set up day(s), frequency and the day the specimen is received. Our ranges do not include weekends. To assure efficient testing, plan shipping so the sample will arrive by the evening prior to the scheduled testing day. Contact the lab at 607-253-3673 concerning the testing schedule and status of any sample. Please have your AHDC account number ready when making inquiries.

Endocrinology Diagnostic Testing Protocols

Contact the laboratory 607-253-3673 for the latest recommended diagnostic tests, dosages for response tests (e.g., ACTH response, Dexamethasone Suppression, TRH), and current information regarding veterinary diagnostic endocrinology (adrenal, thyroid, reproductive, etc.).

Specific Submission Guidelines


An EDTA plasma tube (usually lavender top) is required for specimen collection. Collect blood to the tube fill volume, gently mix by inversion, and chill immediately by refrigeration or immersion in an ice bath. Separate plasma from cells by centrifugation as quickly as possible for dogs and within 4 hours for horses. Centrifuge for 5-10 minutes (preferably in a refrigerated centrifuge), transfer the plasma into shipping tube, and freeze immediately. Canine plasma must be shipped in plastic tubes. Ship with frozen cold packs using an overnight courier service. Plasma samples should arrive frozen (strongly recommended) or adequately chilled (i.e., kept near 4C at all times).

OFA Thyroid Registry Panel

Please contact the lab to obtain a printed copy of instructions or check the web site listed below. All specimens submitted for OFA certification must be serum from freshly collected blood obtained using a plain red top.  Samples must arrive either chilled or frozen, but will be accepted unchilled (room temperature) if received within two days (48 hours) of the collection date. A completed AHDC accession form, OFA Application for Thyroid Database form and a check payable to the OFA (for initial animal registry fee), must also accompany the sample. Lab results will be reported to the submitting veterinarian and forwarded to the OFA with the completed application. Samples that are severely lipemic or hemolyzed or that arrive unchilled later than two days after collection will not be accepted for OFA testing. Learn more about customer instructions for OFA testing.

Contract Testing and Special Request for Non-Routine Hormones and Other Immunoassay Testing

The Endocrinology Laboratory offers an immunoassay service including assay set up, development and validation for non-routine hormones, biomarkers and other esoteric tests. This immunoassay service and expertise supports research in other departments at Cornell and other universities and is also utilized by the pharmaceutical and life science industries. The laboratory uses the Code of Federal Regulations 21 CFR Part 58 (Good Laboratory Practices) as guidelines to maintain quality and data integrity along with the developing AHDC quality system. Please contact the Endocrinology Laboratory manager 607-253-3593 or director 607-253-3796 with specific questions or inquires.