Evaluation of the Pituitary-Adrenal Axis in Simple Hirsutism

Published in: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, v. 20, no. 7, July 1960, p. 967-982

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1960

by Joseph W. Goldzieher, Howard Laitin

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Pituitary-adrenal relationships were studied in 63 women with simple hirsutism, by means of urinary 17-ketosteroid and corticoid determinations under control conditions and during maximal stimulation with ACTH and minimal suppression with prednisolone. The data were analyzed by various statistical techniques including a matrix of simple correlations. Involvement of the adrenal cortex in this clinical disorder was confirmed by several functional parameters. It appears that the adrenals of hirsute patients may be more sensitive to fluctuations in endogenous ACTH than are the adrenals of normal subjects, and that such hypersensitivity is largely confined to the ketosteroid-producing mechanism. Several features of the statistical approach to adrenal function tests, as well as the utility of the correlation matrix are discussed.

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