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March 1958

The Acute Effect of Acetylsalicylic Acid in Man: On the Plasma Concentration of Corticoids, the Corticotropin (ACTH) Response, and Urinary Steroid Excretion

Author Affiliations


From Chicago Wesley Memorial Hospital and the Department of Biochemistry, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, and the Veterans' Administration Hospital, Hines, Ill.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;101(3):623-629. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00260150111014

Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) is efficacious, as are adrenocortical steroids, in the treatment of acute rheumatic fever.1,2 Similarity in the symptomatic relief produced by ASA and by cortisone in arthritic patients suggests a similarity of action.3,4 That some interrelation may exist has been proposed by several investigators.5 Prolonged salicylate ingestion has been reported to induce a mild Cushing's state.6 It has been proposed that salicylates may exert their influence through the pituitary; through the adrenal cortex, or on the level of circulating steroids, their utilization, or excretion, 7-9 despite some evidence to the contrary.10-12 Conflicting reports have appeared concerning the effect of salicylates on urinary steroid excretion and on plasma steroid levels.13-16

The present investigation was designed to study the acute effects of ASA ingestion in high therapeutic doses on the plasma concentration of corticoids and on the urinary excretion of neutral 17-ketosteroids and corticosteroids.

Methods  Healthy adults and adults with

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