• Fundamental questions remain to be answered as to the place of hormones in the treatment of diseases of the ear, nose, and throat. Local edema can be controlled by administering corticotropin and corticosteroids, but it is not certain that short-term relief promises long-term results. The fact that the adrenal cortex does not always release its hormones for the suppression of inflammatory reactions suggests the possibility that such reactions have some as yet unknown advantages to the body. Nasal symptoms that are clearly of infectious origin not only fail to benefit from administration of corticosteroids but eventually become unmanageable after it. Nasal polyps generally shrink during systemic hormone therapy but recur when it is discontinued; yet hormone therapy is more often than not preferable to polypectomy. While continued hormone therapy has an impressive number of incidental risks, withdrawal, too, requires careful planning. Despite these difficulties, there are absolute indications for the use of hormones, namely life-endangering allergies that resist routine management and chronic noninfectious inflammatory reactions that threaten to cause permanent structural damage.
Samter M. USE OF HORMONES IN TREATMENT OF OTOLARYNGOLOGIC DISEASE. JAMA. 1957;163(8):613–615. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970430003002
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