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Notwithstanding the amount of labor that has been expended upon the subject, but little is known as yet concerning the functions of the thyroid body. It has been classified among the blood-forming glands, and it is admitted by some that it may perform the functions of the spleen after that organ has been extirpated. Kocher, Reverdin, Baumgarten, and others have observed that extirpation of the thyroid gland is followed, in the human being, at a more or less late date, by a chain of peculiar symptoms to which they have given the name cachexia strumipriva; it is characterized by a semi-idiotic state, which is almost always associated with anæmia. According to Reverdin, however, this condition tends to disappear in time.
The pathogenesis of cachexia strumipriva is variously explained. Reverdin, and those who follow him, attribute the symptoms to some alteration of the great sympathetic; that is to say, they hold
THE EXTIRPATION OF THE THYROID BODY. JAMA. 1885;IV(17):463–464. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02390920015003
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