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May 1958

Urinary 17-Hydroxycorticoid and Uropepsin Levels with Psychological Data: A Three-Year Study of One Subject

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the Medical Clinic, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and Physician, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (Dr. Fox); Research Associate in Psychology, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Clinical Psychologist, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (Dr. Murawski); Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic, Harvard Medical School, and Physician-in-Chief, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (Dr. Thorn); Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Physician, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (Dr. Gray).

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;101(5):859-871. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00260170015004

The rise or fall in urinary 17-hydroxycorticoid levels associated with a pathological increase or decrease in adrenocortical function (such as Cushing's syndrome or Addison's disease) has been well established, and the steroid response to acute physiological and also to psychological stress has been demonstrated.1-6 There have been few reports, however, concerning the physiological fluctuation of these substances over a relatively prolonged period of time in persons who have no clinically demonstrable endocrine abnormalities.

Research Design  The available biochemical methods for studying adrenocortical activity have been developed so recently that there has not been time to establish a "normal" or "usual" physiological range of fluctuation for a single person. The presently available "limits of normal" are based on the brief sampling of a large number of different persons. Thus any attempt to correlate sustained psychophysiological changes (such as states of nervous tension accompanied by gastrointestinal spasticity) with alterations in relatively

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