Myxedema is a general disorder of metabolism, dependent upon diminished or lost thyroid function. Among various morbid processes affecting the gland and which have been observed to give rise to myxedema are the following: atrophy, atrophy associated with calcareous degeneration, atrophy with enlargement of the pituitary body, actinomycosis, syphilitic degeneration of the organ, and the presence of neoplasms. It is to be recollected, however, that disease of the thyroid is not followed by cachexia strumipriva, provided even a small portion of the gland remains functional. The truth of this dictum was shown by the postmortem findings in the case contributed by Sieveking,1 in which sarcoma had invaded the thyroid. This fact is also fully confirmed by the results of experimental extirpation of the thyroid in animals; total removal of the gland is regularly followed by myxedema (except functional accessory thyroids be present), while if even one-tenth of it is
ANDERS JM. A REPORT OF TWO CASES OF MYXEDEMA WITH REMARKS ON AN ANOMALOUS TYPE. JAMA. 1897;XXIX(2):63–65. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440280015001d
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