Papers And Originals

Comparison of Effects of Long-term Corticotrophin and Corticosteroid Treatment on Responses of Plasma Growth Hormone, ACTH, and Corticosteroid to Hypoglycaemia

Br Med J 1974; 2 doi: (Published 08 June 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;2:521
  1. J. R. Daly,
  2. M. R. Fletcher,
  3. D. Glass,
  4. D. J. Chambers,
  5. Lucille Bitensky,
  6. J. Chayen


    The development of the highly sensitive cytochemical bioassay for ACTH has permitted the measurement of plasma ACTH levels during the insulin hypoglycaemia test (I.H.T.) in patients treated with corticosteroids and corticotrophin. The ACTH, corticosteroid, and growth hormone (GH) responses in the I.H.T. were measured in three groups of 12 rheumatoid arthritis patients. One group was receiving long-term corticotrophin treatment, the second was undergoing long-term corticosteroid treatment, and the third had never received systemic hormone therapy. The increments in plasma ACTH, corticosteroids, and GH were diminished in the corticosteroid-treated group, as were increments in plasma GH and ACTH in the corticotrophin-treated group; but in this group the corticosteroid increment was normal. Examination of the area under the curve of the ACTH response showed that the total amount of ACTH secreted was normal though the rate of secretion was reduced. In the corticosteroid-treated group both rate and total secretion were diminished.