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July 11, 1966

Madarosis and Myxedema

Author Affiliations

Orange, Calif

JAMA. 1966;197(2):153. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110020141055

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To the Editor:—  The notion that loss or thinning of the hair of the lateral portion of the eyebrows may be a major clue to the diagnosis of myxedema was revived recently (195:571, 1966).Eyebrow hair normally tends to be less dense laterally than medially; thus hair loss—from any cause— is apt to be more obvious in the lateral portion. In a careful evaluation by Wayne (Brit Med J1:78, 1960) thinning of the lateral third of the eyebrows was found in about 80% of patients with unequivocal hypothyroidism, 70% of patients with suspected hypothyroidism who were shown to be euthyroid, and 47% of persons selected as "normal euthyroid controls."Sparse eyebrow hair is a nonspecific physical sign which might provide a minor clue but has doubtful value in the diagnosis of hypothyroidism.

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