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Article
August 1940

ORIGIN, EVOLUTION AND SIGNIFICANCE OF GIANT CELLS IN RIEDEL'S STRUMA

Author Affiliations

BROOKLYN
From the Departments of Surgery of the Long Island College Hospital and the Long Island College of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1940;41(2):308-323. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1940.01210020104012
Abstract

The occurrence of giant cells or so-called pseudo giant cells with the chronic nonspecific thyroiditis usually designated as Riedel's struma has been frequently noted since Riedel1 described this disease in 1896. In his original report, however, no mention is made in the microscopic observations of the presence of giant cells. In a considerable number of subsequent reports the occurrence of giant cells in Riedel's struma has been noted, but few studies have been made with the particular purpose of determining their mode of origin and evolution, their possible function, if any, and their ultimate fate. As a result they are little understood, and various unsubstantiated views have been expressed regarding their origin and significance. The most common misconception regarding their nature is that they are foreign body giant cells possessing phagocytic properties. One unfortunate result of this assumption has been to bestow on them a significance which cannot aid in

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