Demonstrating striking remission in activity of rheumatoid arthritis resulting from administration of the adrenal cortex hormone, cortisone, and pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), Hench, Kendall, Slocumb and Polley1 provided a new, promising tool for further investigation of the pathogensis of rheumatoid arthritis. Further, these observers also indicated the possibility of practical application of these hormones in the treatment of the disease.
The effects of short term administration of pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone in rheumatoid arthritis have been described by various writers.2 Remission, they indicated, is generally induced rapidly but not maintained after cessation of therapy. Relapse develops in practically all instances, frequently immediately after discontinuation of treatment.
Our chief interest was directed toward study of the clinical and metabolic effects of long-continued administration of pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone and of means which might be developed for maintaining the remission induced after administration of the hormone is discontinued. We were particularly interested
Margolis HM, Caplan PS. EFFECTS OF PITUITARY ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE (ACTH) IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS. JAMA. 1951;145(6):382-389. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.02920240018005