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February 1936

WEIGHT OF THE THYMUS AND ITS COMPONENT PARTS AND NUMBER OF HASSALL CORPUSCLES IN HEALTH AND IN DISEASE

Author Affiliations

MINNEAPOLIS
From the Department of Anatomy and the Institute of Child Welfare, University of Minnesota.

Am J Dis Child. 1936;51(2):313-335. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1936.01970140077009
Abstract

Throughout the literature on diseases involving the thymus gland the upper limit of normal weight of the thymus has been repeatedly used as a measure of the presence or absence of either an abnormal constitutional state or simple hypertrophy. Such a use of the upper limit of normal weight presupposes a reasonably exact knowledge of the normal variability and changes with age in the weight of this gland. All reviews of the literature,1 however, show that there has been little agreement in the estimates of the upper limit of normal weight of the thymus or even of its average weight. Some workers have claimed that the thymus atrophies immediately after birth, others that it increases until about 2 years of age and then atrophies and others that it increases until puberty before atrophying. Many workers have claimed, in addition, that the thymus completely disappears in adult life. Most workers

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