This study was conducted to investigate the corticotropic axis in anorexia nervosa. In 93 female inpatients who met DSM-III-R criteria for anorexia nervosa, subsample (n = 64) with DSM-III criteria was also considered. Using stepwise regression analysis, this study examined the relationship between independent variables ie, age, body mass index, scores on depression scales and postdexamethasone serum cortisol, considered as a dependent variable. In patients who met DSM-III criteria, 16.7% of the variance of serum cortisol can be explained. The main predictors are depressive retardation, emaciation and age. Using stepwise logistic regression the main categorical predictors of the test suppression vs non suppression are of the same nature. The condition of realisation of DST are discussed.