More than a century of study and treatment of exophthalmic goiter has failed to reveal its cause. The internist, the surgeon and the roentgenologist have each made contributions to the clinical knowledge of this disease, chiefly in the field of therapy. But the advances which have refined their therapy were born necessarily of empiricism. These advances, moreover, although extensively applied and wisely evaluated, have yielded no clue as to etiology. The surgeon and the pathologist have joined forces to lift the veil of mystery from this disease. The physiologist and the biochemist have lent their aid. Yet the etiology of exophthalmic goiter is still unknown. The statement is as true today as it was in 1883, when said by Pierre Marie of this strange malady, "There are in pathogenesis, as in therapy, many theories but little truth."
Pursuit of the etiology of exophalmic goiter has been hampered because this disease
READ JM. STUDIES IN EXOPHTHALMIC GOITERI. ITS INCIDENCE THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1939;63(1):71–79. doi:10.1001/archinte.1939.00180180081006
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