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June 5, 1954


JAMA. 1954;155(6):595-596. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.03690240061026

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Cortisone and Corticotropin (ACTH).  —Prof. L. Heilmeyer (Méd. et hyg.12:115-117 [April 1] 1954) showed that an increase in the production of adrenal hormones is essential to an increased resistance to bacterial toxins. He states that chemotherapy may be useless or even dangerous, as long as the adrenal glands are not injured, because the inhibition of the normal tissue reaction diminishes the resistance to infection. One must then use cortisone and not corticotropin (ACTH). The main indication for such substitution therapy is the Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome, which consists of a massive destruction of the adrenal cortex following septicemia. Next come the infectious diseases with their high production of toxins. One of the best examples is diphtheria. The high antitoxic value of glucocorticoids is also shown by the remedial action of cortisone in patients with severe burns. They are also indicated in the treatment of patients with dysentery, typhoid, exanthematous typhus,

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