IN A PREVIOUS communication,1 it was shown that when large doses of cortisone were administered to rabbits after chemical (sodium hydroxide) burns of the esophagus, the tendency to fibrous stricture formation was remarkably diminished. This antifibroplastic action of cortisone was accompanied with high morbidity and mortality resulting from serious suppurative infection, mostly intrathoracic, i. e., pneumonia, empyema, lung abscesses, etc. Such infections were rare or nonexistent in the control group. The amounts of cortisone employed were equivalent to 420 to 560 mg. per day for a 70 kg. human being, and the poor survival rate seemed related to the large amount of hormone employed.
The increased tendency to infection associated with the administration of cortisone in large amounts has been well documented in the literature. Thus, in 1950, Antopol2 reported a high incidence of "spontaneous" infections in mice treated with massive doses, while his control mice showed no
ROSENBERG N, KUNDERMAN PJ, VROMAN L, MOOLTEN SE. PREVENTION OF EXPERIMENTAL ESOPHAGEAL STRICTURE BY CORTISONEII. Control of Suppurative Complications by Penicillin. AMA Arch Surg. 1953;66(5):593–598. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1953.01260030610007