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January 1965

Electrolyte Excretion by Sweat Glands and Kidneys: During Suppression of Adrenal Corticosteroid Activity By Methopyrapone and Spironolactone

Author Affiliations

Charles D. May, MD, New York University School of Medicine, 550 First Ave, New York, NY 10016.; Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, New York University Medical Center; Career Scientist of the Health Research Council of the City of New York.

Am J Dis Child. 1965;109(1):2-8. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090020004002

THE CONCENTRATION of sodium and chloride in sweat is greatly elevated in conditions of chronic deficiency of adrenal secretions, for example, Addison's disease in man.1 When the adrenals are removed experimentally in animals,2 or adrenal hormone therapy is withdrawn abruptly from patients with deficient adrenal function,3 characteristic alterations in renal excretion of electrolytes occur promptly. In these circumstances, the electrolyte excretion in sweat and urine is restored to normal quickly by aldosterone.4

In another disease, cystic fibrosis, the electrolyte content of sweat is regularly as high or higher than the levels found in chronic adrenal deficiency, but the secretion of aldosterone and renal control of electrolytes are normal in cystic fibrosis; furthermore, administration of aldosterone will not restore the electrolytes in sweat to normal in this disorder.5,6

This dissociation between sweat glands and kidneys in electrolyte regulation in cystic fibrosis (in contrast to their concomitant

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