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March 27, 1909

Function of Adrenal Cortex

JAMA. 1909;LII(13):1049. doi:10.1001/jama.1909.02540390045015

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To the Editor:  —In an editorial (March 13, 1909, p. 892) you refer to Dr. Guthrie's cases of infantile gigantism, in all of which, using this observer's own words, "adrenal tumors existed." As Dr. Guthrie fails to explain this phenomenon, I beg to state that six years ago I pointed out ("Internal Secretions," Vol. 1, 1903, ed. 1, p. 192 et seq.) that the overgrowth of acromegaly and gigantism was produced through the intermediary of the adrenals. I urged at the time that the adrenal secretion, after reducing the amount of oxygen in the pulmonary air became the constituent of hemoglobin which deals out this gas to the tissues and thus sustains (in so far as the rôle of oxygen is concerned) oxidation, metabolism and nutrition. That lesions of the adrenals per se capable of greatly exciting their functional activity should, under these conditions, likewise cause excessive nutrition and overgrowth,

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