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The thymus myth

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Conclusions

  1. (1)

    Pathological enlargement of the thymus is probably diagnosed far too often, and often on erroneous grounds.

  2. (2)

    All other possible causes of upper respiratory obstruction should be excluded before a definite diagnosis is made. Direct inspection of the larynx should always be carried out, and will usually result in a diagnosis of congenital laryngeal stridor.

  3. (3)

    Thymic deaths are probably a myth. The error in diagnosis Usually results from mistaking the normal large thymus found in cases of sudden death in children for a pathological condition.

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Wilson, T.G. The thymus myth. Ir J Med Sci 13, 113–117 (1938). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02949190

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