It is more than forty years since, thanks to the researches of Gley, Vassale and Generali, the distinction in function between the thyroid and the parathyroids was experimentally established. It is generally admitted that the parathyroids supply a hormone that acts to regulate the supply of calcium in the blood. Complete extirpation of the glands leads to tetany and death unless reparative therapy is promptly instituted. In the earlier period, fatal consequences could be averted by administration of calcium in one form or another. After Hansen and, independently, Collip had achieved the success of preparing potent extracts from the parathyroids, the possibilities of replacement therapy by means of the hormone-containing products became a reality.
The subject has acquired a somewhat different aspect since vitamin D has become a recognized therapeutic agent. On a ration deficient in this factor animals will develop rickets, and a normal serum calcium and phosphorus level
HOW INDISPENSABLE ARE THE PARATHYROIDS? JAMA. 1933;101(13):1003–1004. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740380039015
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