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November 30, 1935


JAMA. 1935;105(22):1774-1775. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760480044012

Surgery applied to a normal organ, with the intention of altering the general physiologic functions of the body so that a condition in a distant and diseased part may be improved, must rest on a solid foundation. Among recent operative procedures of this nature is ablation of the normal thyroid in certain cases of chronic heart disease. The rationale of this measure rests largely on the work of Dr. Herman L. Blumgart, who in a series of studies beginning in 1925 was able to show a definite relationship between the rate of blood flow and the thyroid function as measured by the basal metabolic rate,1 the flow being increased in exophthalmic goiter and slowed in myxedema. Blumgart and his co-workers were thus led to suggest that, when the circulation in decompensated heart disease could not be accelerated by digitalis, rest and other appropriate cardiac therapeutic methods, compensation might be