History: trials with desiccated thyroid

This article shows you some trials from the 1940's. Desiccated thyroid was the treatment. Accurate TSH-tests were not available yet. When you see the amounts of hormone used, it is as if the patients were a kind of guinea pigs.

Serum iodine of euthyroid subjects treated with desiccated thyroid

In the present paper (1), the influence of thyroid feeding on serum iodine as well as on basal metabolism of euthyroid subjects is described, and the mechanism of euthyroid tolerance to large doses of desiccated thyroid is discussed.

The changes in serum iodine and basal metabolic rate which occur when myxedematous patients are treated with desiccated thyroid have been reported in the preceding paper (2).

Many euthyroid subjects differ from myxedematous patients in their ability to tolerate comparatively large amounts of dried thyroid without manifesting significant signs or symptoms of hypermetabolism (3).

Data from 2 groups of patients are presented. The first group consisted of 4 female schizophrenic patients in the Fairfield State Hospital, who were chosen for their willingness to cooperate in an extended experimental study. None of the 4 showed any evidence of thyroid dysfunction, and all were in reasonably good physical condition. The medical and psychiatric status of each patient is summarized at the end of the paper. The second group consisted of 9 ambulatory patients followed for considerable periods of time in the metabolism clinic of the New Haven Hospital. The clinical status of each of these patients is described in the legend of Figure 2.


1. Riggs, D.S, Man, E.B., Winklers, A.W.,
Serum iodine of euthyroid subjects on desiccated thyroid [pdf].
J. Clin. Invest., 1945

2. Winkler, A. W., Riggs, D. S., and Man, E. B.,
Serum iodine in hypothyroidism before and during thyroid therapy [pdf].
J. Clin. Invest., 1945.

3. Winkler, A. W., Lavietes, P. H., Robbins, C. L., and Man., E. B.,
Tolerance to oral thyroid and reaction to intravenous thyroxine in subjects without myxedema [pdf].
J. Clin. Invest., 1943.


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