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August 21, 1954


JAMA. 1954;155(17):1499. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.03690350041013

After severe trauma, without regard to its type, there develops a catabolic phase in which there is a large urinary loss of nitrogen as well as potassium and phosphorus. In many cases, the illness of the patient induces anorexia, and this coupled with the increased urinary loss of nitrogen results in a marked negative nitrogen balance. It has been shown that testosterone propionate tends to cause the body to store nitrogen after trauma, and its use has been reported in fractures,1 thermal burns,2 and patients who are poor surgical risks.3

Recently, Forsyth4 reported a series of studies in which the effects of testosterone propionate on nitrogen balance was investigated in four severely wounded soldiers; after injury they had been maintained on diets that were adequate in both calories and protein. Studies were begun from 57 to 207 days after the original injury. As a result of

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