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January 28, 1939


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and the Children's Hospital Research Foundation.

JAMA. 1939;112(4):283-285. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800040001001

The thymus gland has for a long time been a subject for study by physiologists.1 It appears to many clinicians, however, that this organ is cited only when convenient to account for an otherwise inexplicable symptom, or even death. Thus the critical physician frequently wishes there were no such thing as the thymus and denies that it has any clinical implications. The thymus exists, however, and it cannot be entirely disregarded as a potential source of disturbance in early life, even though it has been too often incriminated by uncritical diagnosticians and too frequently treated by enthusiastic therapeutists. There will be considered in this presentation three ways in which the pediatrician meets the problem of the thymus, the type of encounter varying at the different stages of the child's development.

THYMIC HYPERPLASIA  The pediatrician may be called to see a young infant suffering from such symptoms as respiratory stridor,