That cortisone and pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) might be useful in the treatment of rheumatic fever was first suggested by Hench and his co-workers1 in May, 1949, shortly after they had announced their observations on the remarkable effects of these hormones in rheumatoid arthritis.2 Although more than a year has now elapsed, published data on the effects of these hormones on the clinical course of rheumatic fever are still limited.
Hench's original report1 included three rheumatic fever patients treated at the Mayo Clinic with cortisone for periods of 21 to 37 days and one patient who had received pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone for seven days at the time that the report was prepared. More recent publications from the Mayo Clinic3 have included data on these same cases as well as on four additional cortisone-treated patients and three additional ACTH-treated patients. Elkinton and others4 administered the latter
MASSELL BF, WARREN JE. EFFECT OF PITUITARY ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE (ACTH) ON RHEUMATIC FEVER AND RHEUMATIC CARDITIS. JAMA. 1950;144(16):1335–1341. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920160009002