After a study of the life cycle of persons with thyrotoxicosis, Fitz1 concluded that the operative treatment of toxic goiter is generally successful but that the ultimate result is uncertain. The removal of the thyroid interrupts a vicious circle but does not reach the fundamental cause of the disorder; thus it is not a curative procedure. Two complications following operation are so frequently encountered as to be a definite hazard— the development of hypothyroidism or of recurrences.
The recent discoveries reported by the MacKenzies and McCollum2 and Astwood3 point to the inhibition of function in an endocrine gland by the administration of certain chemical compounds. The MacKenzies, while investigating the possibility that sulfaguanidine, when fed to rats on a purified diet containing synthetic B vitamins, might prevent the synthesis of additional essential nutrients by the intestinal flora, observed that animals which received the drug for periods varying
THIOUREA AND THIOURACIL IN TREATMENT OF THYROTOXICOSIS. JAMA. 1944;126(3):172–173. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850380034014