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March 1955

Adrenocortical Function During Long-Term Cortisone Therapy: Further Observations

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

From the Veterans Administration Hospital; Residents in Internal Medicine (Drs. Fredell, Johnson, and McGrath); Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, and Attending Physician in Clinical Pathology, Veterans Administration Hospital (Dr. Krupp), and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California Medical School, and Attending Physician in Medicine, Veterans Administration Hospital (Dr. Engleman).

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1955;95(3):411-418. doi:10.1001/archinte.1955.00250090049007

It has been demonstrated that treatment with cortisone causes suppression of adrenocortical function.* Further studies have shown that this suppression may be reversed by the administration of corticotropin even though the maintenance dose of cortisone is continued.2

The patients in this group have been studied at approximately yearly intervals since the initiation of their continuous therapy with cortisone. An earlier examination was reported previously.2 The present study comprises the results of investigations which were made in 1953 and 1954 to determine whether the adrenal cortex would still respond to corticotropin and also to observe the effect of long-term therapy with cortisone on other physiologic functions.

PROCEDURE  The same regimen was used in both 1953 and 1954. The patients were hospitalized during the study, and their customary program of a regular diet without supplemental potassium was continued. Daily maintenance doses of cortisone were continued unchanged. Patients entered the hospital