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In 1914, Simmonds1 reconstructed from necropsy studies of two cases the clinical syndrome which results from destruction of the anterior lobe of the hypophysis. Since that time a number of cases have been described in the German literature, although none appeared in the English language until Graham and Farquharson2 reported four cases in 1931.
Clinically the syndrome is characterized by premature senescence, generalized atrophy of all tissues, gradual failure of the body functions, mental torpor, apathy and death. The literature on the disease was reviewed to 1922 by Knoll,3 and to 1930 by Werner Merz.4
The destruction of the anterior lobe of the hypophysis may be caused by a number of primary and secondary conditions, and a review of twenty-four selected cases with autopsy observations from the literature suggests the following principal factors in the order of their importance: puerperal sepsis (septic embolus), 9; syphilis,
RIECKER HH, CURTIS AC. HYPOPHYSEAL CACHEXIA (SIMMONDS' DISEASE): WITH REPORT OF THREE CASES. JAMA. 1932;99(2):110–114. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740540018008
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