Considerable evidence has been accumulated to suggest that corticotropin and cortisone may be of practical therapeutic significance in the cytopenias of hypersplenism, particularly idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. This is in contrast to the ineffectiveness of these hormones in thrombocytopenic purpura when the marrow is hypoplastic, or when there has been depression of platelet formation by chemical intoxication or irradiation.
Robson and Duthie1 administered corticotropin to two patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Definite clinical remission was induced on three occasions in these two patients. Bethell and his co-workers2 reported on six patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in whom administration of corticotropin or of cortisone resulted in complete clinical and hematological remissions. In three of the patients remissions have persisted for periods of four to six months. In two patients with splenic neutropenia and arthritis (Felty's syndrome) relapse occurred in less than two weeks after the discontinuation of corticotropin therapy. These