WE HAVE investigated the influence of cortisone and of pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) on 34 patients with a variety of illnesses. Of this group 14 were critically ill with exacerbations of acute disseminated lupus erythematosus1; 1 had chronic discoid
lupus; 6 were patients with moderately severe hyperthyroidism, and the remaining 13 had various other collagen diseases (table 1). The results in the patients with thyrotoxicosis will be presented elsewhere. This report will be limited to our experience with acute disseminated lupus erythematosus.
The diagnosis of acute disseminated lupus erythematosus was based on the characteristic clinical association of fever, weakness, joint pains, typical lesions of skin and mucous membrane, evidence of pleuropericardial involvement and retinal and renal changes. Several patients manifested severe muscle wasting. All patients demonstrated the characteristic laboratory findings, which included microscopic hematuria, leukopenia, anemia, hyperglobulinemia, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate and the presence of characteristic lupus cells in