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Article
August 1952

ADRENAL HORMONES AND INCREASED CAPILLARY PERMEABILITY OF BURNSAn Experimental Evaluation

AMA Arch Surg. 1952;65(2):309-317. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1952.01260020322014
Abstract

IN RECENT medical journals and pharmaceutical literature the statement has been made that corticotropin (ACTH) has a beneficial effect upon capillary permeability, diminishing the losses of water and protein from the circulation of burned patients, and thus reducing their plasma and electrolyte requirements.1 If confirmed, such claims would mean a significant advance in the therapy of burn shock, especially in the event of any mass disaster. The consequence, if treatment were based on these claims and they proved incorrect, would be a rising tide of unnecessary deaths from hemoconcentration and dehydration in extensively burned patients. In view of this possible consequence we are reporting studies concerning the action of pituitary and adrenal hormones on the permeability of the vascular membrane.

The loss of fluid occasioned by a burn wound is caused both by heat and by infection. The heat damages capillaries; it increases their permeability, and fluid pours into

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