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Observations on the effects of glucocorticoid administration in pernicious anemia

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The present study was an attempt to document further the changes that occur in patients with pernicious anemia during and after prednisolone. Therefore, 11 such patients were studied before, during 9–14 weeks of prednisolone administration, and up to 12 months afterwards. Schilling urinary excretion tests (UET) became normal in 5 patients, and 3 others had suboptimal improvement. Gastric juice intrinsic factor (IF) was demonstrated in 3 patients before prednisolone administration and 8 had increased amounts during therapy. Four patients had serum IF antibodies, and all titers declined. Parietal cells were present in gastric mucosal specimens from 9 of 11 individuals before, and from 7 of 9 individuals at the end of prednisolone administration. No clear relationship between an improvement of UET was demonstrable with the following: dosage or duration of prednisolone administration, degree of hypercorticism induced, presence of IF antibodies, or changes in gastric mucosa. The initial UET and/or gastric juice IF assay appeared higher in those who responded by improving their UET to normal, compared to those who had suboptimal or no UET improvement.

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Author information

Correspondence to Jack D. Welsh MD.

Additional information

Supported in part by National Institutes of Health Training Grants T1 AM-5179 and T1 AM-5107; and by Career Development Award 1-K3-AM-9693, Research Career Program, National Institutes of Health.

The authors wish to thank Dr. Hans J. Hansen, Department of Biochemical Research, Touro Research Institute, New Orleans for the CSAB serum; Drs. Robert E. Coalson and A. Laurence Dee for reviewing the biopsy specimens; Anthony W. Walker, Jr and Juanetta E. Anderson for their technical assistance.

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Baggett, R.T., Welsh, J.D. Observations on the effects of glucocorticoid administration in pernicious anemia. Digest Dis Sci 15, 871–881 (1970). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02236052

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  • Public Health
  • Anemia
  • Glucocorticoid
  • Prednisolone
  • Gastric Juice