Ivar Sandström, recorder in the department of anatomy at the University of Upsala, was the first to identify as specific structures the small bodies posterior to the lateral lobes of the thyroid and to give them their current name.1 The description of the gross and microscopic appearance of the parathyroids was communicated to the Upsala Journal of Science in 1880, but the document remained untranslated into English in its entirety for more than 50 years.2 Although the small bodies had been described earlier by Remak and Virchow, it was Sandström, before he had completed his medical training, who recognized these structures in man and animals as something distinct from lymph or accessory thyroid tissue.
The curriculum vitae of the discoverer is incomplete, but it is known that he was born in Stockholm, to the Secretary of Agriculture and his wife. He matriculated at the University of Upsala, and
IVAR SANDSTRöM (1852-1889) WITNESS TO THE PARATHYROIDS. JAMA. 1966;196(8):733. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100210103034