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Assessment of adrenal cortical function after death in cases of senile osteoporosis
  1. R. A. Caldwell1
  1. Department of Pathology, University of Sheffield


    Adrenal cortical function was assessed after death by indirect methods in an unselected series of 31 cases dying in hospital, and comparison made between cases showing normal bone density and those showing unequivocal senile osteoporosis.

    The osteoporotic cases showed evidence of slightly greater cortical activity than did cases with normal bone density but this was considered to be largely due to the greater degree of stress suffered by the osteoporotic cases.

    There was no evidence to suggest adrenal involution, or `adrenopause', in any of the cases, and no changes were present to suggest that the osteoporosis was the result of terminal excess of `anti-anabolic' steroids. It is considered that the osteoporosis was more probably due to gonadal sex-hormone (oestrogen) deficiency.

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    • 1 Present address: The Department of Pathology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Australia.