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October 27, 1951


JAMA. 1951;147(9):874-875. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670260076019

The physiologic relationship between the demands of metabolism and the supply of blood by the heart suggested that production of artificial hypothyroidism in a patient suffering from chronic heart disease might result in definite clinical improvement. This was supported by the fact that patients with thyrocardiac disorders were definitely improved by subtotal thyroidectomy. Blumgart and his associates1 proposed, in 1933, total ablation of the normal thyroid for the relief of intractable heart disease. Clark and his associates2 reported on 21 cardiac patients subjected to total ablation of the thyroid gland for the relief of congestive failure and angina pectoris. They felt that the operation was worth while in one-fourth of the patients. In Berlin's3 series of 90 patients subjected to total thyroidectomy for the relief of intractable heart disease, 70% showed marked or moderate improvement. From a survey of literature and inquiries Parsons and Purks4 analyzed