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May 12, 1951


JAMA. 1951;146(2):201. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670020123017

Both cortisone and pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) have produced dramatic alterations in the metabolic process of organisms; among the conditions in which these hormones have been employed successfully is rheumatoid arthritis. A common index used in the evaluation of the state of activity of this disease is the rate at which sedimentation of the erythrocytes from the blood takes place. The factors that influence this sedimentation rate are numerous, though the concentration of both fibrinogen and gamma globulin in the blood exerts a major effect on this rate. Recently, Vaughan, Bayles and Favour1 correlated the gamma globulin and fibrinogen levels with the erythrocyte sedimentation rate in the blood of patients with active rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma who were receiving either cortisone or pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone as the therapeutic agent. It was found that these hormones depress the level of both gamma globulin and fibrinogen in the blood. These investigators

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