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August 1965

Myxedema: A Study of 400 Cases

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Internal Medicine and the Radiation Research Laboratory, College of Medicine, State University of Iowa. Clinical Research Fellow (Dr. Watanakunakorn) and Professor (Dr. Hodges), Department of Internal Medicine and Director of the Radiation Research Laboratory (Dr. Evans).

Arch Intern Med. 1965;116(2):183-190. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03870020023008

MYXEDEMA is a clinical disease entity resulting from failure of the thyroid gland to maintain a daily output of thyroid hormone consistent with health. Since the publication of the report of the committee appointed by the Clinical Society of London to investigate the subject in 1888,1 myxedema has been a well recognized disease and numerous reviews and investigations have been published. Despite increasing knowledge of the physiology of the thyroid gland and the continuous development of better means of investigating thyroid function, myxedema has frequently remained undiagnosed. This probably is the result of the wide variety of presenting symptoms, some of which have been considered rather vague or nonspecific. It is particularly so in old people, as myxedema develops so slowly that its manifestations are often mistaken for those of aging. The tendency to look for the "classic" symptoms and signs of a full-blown case of myxedema is probably