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May 16, 1925


JAMA. 1925;84(20):1499-1500. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660460035017

Among the endocrine glands that have been the subject of intensive investigation in recent years, the parathyroid structures have been the focus of much attention. The great importance that they have physiologically is out of all proportion to their small size. Removal of the fragments of tissue that constitute the parathyroid glands results in serious symptoms; and unless suitable therapy is vigorously instituted, death is certain to ensue. The outstanding manifestation resulting from extirpation of the parathyroids is tetany. The severity may range from a mere hyperexcitability of the nerves, which requires careful electrical tests to elicit its presence, to the severe symptoms designated as tetania parathyreopriva. It is the merit of recent biochemical research to have demonstrated clearly that in these conditions there is a pronounced change in the content of certain blood components. Greenwald1 has summarized the latest information in the statement that there are two, and

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