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September 17, 1927


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of California Medical School.

JAMA. 1927;89(12):966-967. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690120042014

During the past fifteen months an instructive study has been carried on by surgeon and pathologist at the University of California Hospital. Lahey's1 report of frequency of parathyroid tissue in his removed specimens led to a somewhat similar investigation here. Its results, published by Millzner,2 show an extreme variation in position of the parathyroids. This is very disturbing to the thyroid surgeon who has been operating in an atmosphere of smug security, confident of the posterior position of his patient's parathyroids. He has perhaps been so fortunate, thus far, as never to have encountered gross clinical manifestations of postoperative parathyroid deficiency. Evidence of this complication, though escaping notice in the ordinary routine of postoperative care, may be fairly frequently demonstrated to be present in a mild degree by the special tests known under the names of Chvostek and Trousseau. Chvostek's sign is perhaps too delicate, but when seen

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