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April 13, 1907


Author Affiliations

Outdoor Physician to the Montreal General Hospital. MONTREAL, CANADA.

From the Medical Clinic of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.

JAMA. 1907;XLVIII(15):1226-1230. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.25220410002001a


HISTORICAL NOTE.  In 1873, in a paper entitled "A Cretinoid State Supervening in Adult Life in Women," Sir William Gull1 first described the disease known later as myxedema. This name was suggested by Ord,2 in 1877, as he said, "To be applied to an essential condition in the cretinoid affection occasionally observed in middle-aged women." He also wrote:The whole collection of symptoms are related as effects to jelly-like swellings of the connective tissue, chiefly, if not entirely, consisting in an overgrowth of the mucous-yielding cement by which the fibrils of the white element are held together. Accordingly, I propose to give the name of "myxedema" to the affection.He further emphasized the similarity of myxedema and cretinism and among other things pointed out that in one of his cases (as in one of the cretins reported by Curling), there was diminution in size and almost complete

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