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June 6, 1908


JAMA. 1908;L(23):1908. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530490036006

Our knowledge of the existence of the parathyroids is only of recent date, and we are gradually learning something of their function. They are small reddish or yellowish brown ductless organs usually situated behind the lateral lobes of the thyroid gland and within the capsule of the latter. They vary in number from one to five, although usually there are four, two on either side. Each has a capsule of its own and also an independent blood supply through a branch of one of the thyroid arteries. It has been shown that many of the nervous symptoms immediately following removal of the thyroid are due to associated removal of the parathyroid bodies or to the cutting off of their blood supply. Chemical investigation has demonstrated that there is diminished retention of calcium salts in the body in the presence of tetany following removal of the parathyroids, and relief has been

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