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January 30, 1915


JAMA. 1915;LXIV(5):441. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02570310061026

The removal of the parathyroid glands generally leads to early death preceded by very characteristic nervous and muscular disturbances described under the name of tetany. Various attempts have been made to bring this pathologic phenomenon into a causal relation to a deficiency in calcium in the circulating fluids. Removal of the glands has been alleged to be attended with a loss of calcium, on the one hand, and the injection of salts of this element has repeatedly been demonstrated to suppress the tetany symptoms in affected animals. It is quite conceivable, however, that such an effect of introduction of calcium is due to a sedative action instead of a restoration of an element which may be assumed to be available in abundance in an organism possessed of a bony skeleton.

Experimental investigations in the department of pathology at Columbia University, New York, have attacked the question of the relation of

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