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July 7, 1945


JAMA. 1945;128(10):734. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860270036012

Davis and his associates1 at the Lying-In Hospital of the University of Chicago administered diethylstilbestrol to a group of young women with primary amenorrhea after all other measures had failed. After starting administration of 1 mg. of diethylstilbestrol daily, these girls matured rapidly and their reproductive organs reached a normal state of development. The nipples, the areolas and the linea alba, it was noted, pigmented intensely. The degree of pigmentation far exceeded that seen during normal gestation. Administration of diethylstilbestrol to some 1,000 patients with menopausal complaints gave the usual satisfactory response, but the patients did not exhibit an increase in pigmentation in the usual localities, even though the total dosage of estrogens far exceeded the amount administered to the young girls with primary amenorrhea.

In an attempt to elucidate the mechanism of estrogenic pigmentation and the reason for the difference in response in primary amenorrhea and pregnancy, the