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January 1, 1938


JAMA. 1938;110(1):48-49. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790010050013

Isolated cases of chronic thyroiditis of tuberculous, syphilitic or parasitic origin are not rare. Chronic nonspecific thyroiditis, however, is of special interest because of the obscure etiology and because of its possible relationship to the function of the gland. Riedel1 in 1896 described a patient with the physical signs of a malignant growth of the thyroid, who recovered following the removal of a small piece of thyroid tissue. At operation the gland was discovered to be stony hard and with numerous adhesions to the surrounding tissues. The adhesions had the consistency of leather and bound the gland down so firmly as to make its removal well nigh impossible. Microscopic examination of the removed tissue revealed round cell infiltration of the normal gland tissue, with the disappearance of the latter and the formation of replacement fibrosis. Riedel called the condition eisenharte strumitis—iron-hard strumitis. Later he was able to add more

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