There was a time when the adrenocortical hormones therapy was only available treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, but since it does not give lasting effect on chronic rheumatoid arthritis, opinions are varied as to its efficacy, so that at present we are still conducting studies about this problem. Ever since the reports on the gold therapy for rheumatoid arthritis of LANDE (1927) and FORESTIER (1929) the literature is replete with the results of gold therapy both in Europe and America. In Japan, however, it was with reports by OSHIMA (1957) and HASHIMOTO(1961) that first aroused the interest of general investigators in this gold therapy. Nevertheless, since we find no convincing methods of treatment, we attempted to give combined balneo- and chryotherapys therapy to the pateints coming to the Department of Internal Medicine of Misasa (Hot-springs) Hospital, which is located in Tottori Prefecture and is a Branch of Okayama University Hospital, over the period of the past five years, and studied the efficacy of such treatment. Our subjects were consisted of 93 cases of rheumatoid arthritis with duration of 4.8 years in average. For the balneotherapy the patients were made to rest for the first the bathing week, the combined with mud treatment and massage once or twice a day was given in the second week, and then the gold therapy was commenced. Gold thioglucose oil emulsion (Solganal B. product of Schering) was used. In the first week, 5-10 mg of Solganal B were given twice. 10 mg were given twice in the second week, and thereafter the doses were gradually increased until the total dosage reached 1.0～1.5g. By the combined balneo- and chrysotherapy applied to the 93 cases of rheumatoid arthritis, we obtained the results as follows. 1. The improvement in the erythrocyte sedimentation rate was observed in 77% of them. 2. The improvement in the CRP test was observed
in 46%, but the aggravation was found in 8.7% of their conditions. 3. There were 53 cases (57%) whose RA-test was either weakened or turned negative. 4. Judging from the changes in the erythrocyte sedimentation rate and the doses of gold thioglucose given, the effects of such a treatment appear around the tenth week after the start of the treatment and it seems that the total dosage of 500 mg and over gold salt is most appropriate. 5. By the combined treatment there were 10 (48%) of 21 cases whose conditions had improved well enough as to withdraw corticosteroids treatment and remaining 11 cases (52%) who had improved to the extent where we could reduce the amount of corticosteroids. 6. By applying the evaluating system of HASHIMOTO,
the efficacy rate of the treatment proves to be
89% in the cases given over 500 mg gold thioglucose, and out of these 49% showed a marked effect. Therefore, it seems that the optimal dosage is over 500 mg. 7. These results amply indicate that for the treatment of chronic rheumatoid arthritis the balneotherapy combined with some organic gold compound or salt (Solganal B in the present study) is highly beneficial.