CONTRADICTORY reports can be found in the literature regarding the effect of corticotropin (ACTH) and cortisone on blood clotting.1a, b, c This paper will attempt to reconcile the discrepancies and to shed some light upon the problem involved. In addition, potential dangers in the clinical use of adrenal cortical hormones as regards the fluidity of the blood will be discussed.
The corticotropin used in this study was an LA-1 Standard lot, supplied through the courtesy of the Parke, Davis & Company Division of Clinical Investigation. The amounts of hormone used varied from 100 to 500 mg. per diem, given intramuscularly in divided, single 20 to 25 mg. doses. It was administered over periods of from one to eight days. Thirteen persons afflicted with thrombophlebitis or phlebothrombosis were treated in this preliminary study. Twelve received corticotropin, and one cortisone. Of those 13 patients, 8 had phlebothrombosis following various operative procedures.