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May 1963

Localized Myxedema Involving the Upper Extremities

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, Memorial Center for Cancer and Allied Diseases.; Instructor in Medicine (Dr. Cohen); Assistant Professor (Dr. Benua); Professor of Medicine (Dr. Rawson); Cornell University Medical College.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(5):641-646. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620290107014

Introduction  Von Basedow1 in 1840, recording one of the earliest descriptions of exophthalmic goiter, made note of an interesting physical finding: "The legs became, from the lower third of the thighs to the extremities, very fat, however not edematous, the cellular tissue seemed rather brawny, on pressure leaves no dent and after acupuncture produces no falling out of serum." Sollier2 in 1891 reported a similar finding in association with thyrotoxicosis which he termed Basedow's disease with myxedema.In 1942 Trotter and Eden3 reviewed 73 cases of pretibial myxedema and added 4 of their own; in every instance the lesions were confined to the legs and associated with a history of hyperthyroidism. A review of the English language reports since 1942 brings the total reported cases to 317.4-54In the instance reported by Sunseri4 the lesions were noted to involve both legs and the lower abdomen