Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; Journal
Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia Campus,
Virginia Commonwealth University.
The thyroid gland was not identified as a discrete entity until the
Renaissance. Aulus Cornelius Celsus first described a bronchocoele (a type
of neck mass) in AD 15. Around that time Pliny referred to epidemics of goiter
in the Alps and mentioned burnt seaweed, used by the Chinese to treat goiter
at least 1600 years before. In 1856 Thomas Wharton named the gland. Thyroid means shield in Greek, and the gland’s shape
resembles shields commonly used in ancient Greece.
Gozu HI. Thyroidology. JAMA. 2005;293(24):3107-3112. doi:10.1001/jama.293.24.3108