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Article
March 1923

THE VALUE OF BASAL METABOLISM IN THE DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF CRETINISM

Author Affiliations

BOSTON
From Children's Medical Department, Massachusetts General Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1923;25(3):185-197. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1923.01920030002001
Abstract

Cretinism was first correlated with endemic goiter by Paracelsus in the sixteenth century. Curling, in 1850, described cases of sporadic cretinism. It was recognized and described as a clinical entity in 1871 by Fagge. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, after the discovery of the cause of myxedema and the part played by thyroid therapy in cases of abnormal glandular secretion, Sir Victor Horsley1 and Murray,2 in England, recognized the importance of thyroid administration in cases of cretinism.

In 1895, Magnus-Levy3 determined the metabolism of adults with exophthalmic goiter and found that it was increased, while in patients with cretinism or myxedema it was much diminished.

In 1909, Bergmann4 reported the metabolism of a 15 months old infant with severe infantile myxedema and concluded that its metabolism of 790 calories for each square meter of body surface was much diminished. This conclusion holds true

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