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May 31, 1941

Current Comment

JAMA. 1941;116(22):2508. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820220050014

HYPOTHYROIDISM IN CHILDREN  Physicians often have difficulty in diagnosing hypothyroidism in children. One of the commonest errors is to think that mongolian idiots are cretins. Many times mongolian idiots referred by practicing physicians to children's clinics arrive with the diagnosis of cretinism. Mentally defective children are often considered to be cretins solely because of their retarded mental development and particularly if they happen to have a puzzled expression and queer physiognomy. Dwarfism, even if not accompanied by any of the stigmas of hypothyroidism, is often thought to depend on deficiency of the thyroid, probably because hypothyroidism is so well known as a cause of dwarfism. An error which has become common recently is to consider delay in the development of the centers of ossification of the epiphyses as being due to hypothyroidism. This is the outgrowth of the mistaken idea that the thyroid alone governs the maturation of the centers

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