March 15, 1952


Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
From the Medical Service, General Medical and Surgical Hospital, Veterans Administration Center, and the Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California.

JAMA. 1952;148(11):904-907. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930110026007

Soon after corticotropin (ACTH) and cortisone became available for clinical investigation, it was noted that they were effective against a wide variety of dermatoses,1 including the atopic diathesis.2 Initial reports of the use of these drugs in atopic dermatitis were enthusiastic and, in general, created the hope that the therapeutic solution of this perplexing problem was at hand. However, as clinical experience accumulated, it was noted that the pattern of response in atopic dermatitis3 is similar to that observed in rheumatoid arthritis,4 lupus erythematosus,5 and certain other diseases,6 in that it is characterized by marked initial improvement, followed by a relapse when therapy is discontinued. The present study was initiated for the purpose of determining the therapeutic value of cortisone in a group of patients with atopic dermatitis, when given for a prolonged period of time and under conditions permitting detailed observation. In order

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