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July 4, 1977

Medical News

JAMA. 1977;238(1):13-21. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280010013003

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Thyroid function yields clues about prognosis of comatose patients  Thyroid function should be monitored in patients with prolonged coma after head trauma, an Emory University professor of medicine stated at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in Chicago.Daniel Rudman, MD, reported a study showing that hypogonadism and hypothyroidism routinely are evident six to seven days after the onset of trauma-induced coma.Inversely correlating to the patient's degree of stupor, said Dr Rudman, is the concentration of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).Emory's departments of medicine, surgery, and biometry collaborated in the Public Health Service— supported study, measuring cAMP levels in the CSF of patients who had been comatose for ten or more days.To avoid the effects of puberty and menstrual cycle, the study was limited to seven men between the ages of 24 and 53 years. Each patient's degree of coma was graded, with