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July 1, 1950


Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

From the Arthritis Clinic of the White Memorial Hospital, College of Medical Evangelists, Los Angeles.

JAMA. 1950;143(9):791-792. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910440009004

Lewin and Wassén1 have recently reported striking, immediate amelioration in 9 cases of rheumatoid arthritis after intramuscular injection of 5 mg. of desoxycorticosterone acetate followed by intravenous or intramuscular injection of 1,000 mg. of ascorbic acid. The effects consisted of alleviation of pain, increase of range of motion, elevation of skin temperature around the joints and decided exhilaration in some patients. As a rule the effect lasted two to six hours, occasionally more than twenty-four hours. In more acute cases improvement lasted as long as three weeks.

The possibility that a hormone and vitamin combination, readily available at reasonable cost, may approach the effect of the rare and costly cortisone or pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) has stirred up great interest here and abroad. Within five weeks after this preliminary report was made, seven communications2 appeared in the Lancet. Three investigators enthusiastically supported the claims of Lewin and Wassén.