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December 1942


Author Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology; Professor of Radiology SAN FRANCISCO

From the Divisions of Medicine and Radiology and the Thyroid Committee of the University of California Medical School and Hospital.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1942;70(6):1002-1016. doi:10.1001/archinte.1942.00200240086007

Hyperthyroidism holds a unique position among the diseases properly falling into the field of internal medicine because, although its causation is unknown, an empiric treatment has been evolved that is satisfactory in the majority of cases. Except in certain situations, the factors that cause the thyroid to hyperfunction are obscure. Yet in most cases subtotal ablation of the thyroid relieves most of the symptoms. In the early years of the twentieth century, the roentgen ray frequently was employed as a means of destroying the thyroid, and evidences of its success are abundant.1 Its use became extensive at that time because of the high surgical mortality. However, since 1923 the preoperative preparation of patients with administration of iodine and other measures has brought about a decline in surgical mortality.2 Consequently, at the present time in the major clinics of this country the mortality rate is from 0.5 to 2