From the results of the various experiments already detailed I feel justified in drawing the following conclusions:
(1) Absolutely fresh thyroid gland is not poisonous, in the usual sense of the term, when absorbed through the alimentary canal.
(2) The symptoms of induced thyroidism are manifestations of an intoxication resulting from the ingestion of decomposed thyroid material, a conclusion that agrees in part with the previously related observations of Lanz.
(3) The so-called experimental thyroidism is not specific for the thyroid only, for the ingestion of many substances derived from animal tissues other than the thyroid gland may produce an intoxication strikingly similar in every respect to that of experimental thyroidism.
(4) Most, if not all, animal tissues yield substances which, if injected in large quantities directly into the circulation or beneath the skin, will produce an intoxication often very similar to that produced by injections of various substances derived from the fresh thyroid tissue.
(5) The effects resulting from the intravascular or subcutaneous injections of aqueous extracts, decoctions and the concentrated extractives of the thyroid tissue, of the thymus, of muscle, etc., are by no means necessarily indicative of the function and the action of the hypothetical internal secretions of the same tissues during life.
(6) The utilization of the fact that ingestion of decomposed thyroid material produces on certain occasions an intoxication with certain symptoms similar to some of those of G-raves' disease is not justifiable for the furtherance of the theory that the symptoms of exophthalmic goitre result from an over-production of the thyroid secretion.
(7) Our results lead us to conclude with Drechsel that the fresh thyroid tissue yields at least probably two substances that are capable of palliating the symptoms of the acute cachexia in totally thyroidless dogs.
(8) The thymus tissue also yields one and probably two substances that are as equally capable as the thyroid extractives of palliating the acute cachexia in totally thyroidless dogs.
(9) Neither of the above substances is an enzyme, nor does either contain iodine.
(10) Neither the feeding of minced raw thyroid glands, nor the injection of aqueous thyroid extracts, decoctions, and concentrated solutions of the extracted palliative thyroid principles is capable of keeping totally thyroidless young dogs alive longer than a few weeks (possibly three weeks). Still less capable are the thyroid preparations containing decomposition products.
(11) The presence of one, or usually several, small accessory thyroid bodies, which gradually hypertrophy and wholly or partially assume the functions of the excised thyroid lobes, accounts for the occasionally long survival of thyroidectomized, thyroid-fed, young dogs.
(12) Totally thyroidless young dogs are so quickly overwhelmed by the cachexia, and the intervals between the thyroidectomy and the onset of the severe dyspnœic attacks and subsequent deaths differ so slightly, no matter which of the usual varieties of fresh food are employed, that kinds of fresh food cannot be unquestionably affirmed to influence the onset of the cachexia in any especially definite manner. Animal foods, in which constituents poisonous to rabbits have developed, probably slightly hasten the onset of the severer symptoms, and the vaunted remarkably modifying influence of a diet of ordinary milk, such as Breisacher observed, does not exist in the case of the totally thyroidless dog.
(13) Monkeys whose general metabolism is disturbed in consequence of the removal of a greater portion of the thyroid gland, evidently become more susceptible to those constituents of meat that are poisonous to rabbits, and sufficient clinical evidence exists for concluding that probably a like susceptibility to animal foods containing such constituents also exists in men when the function of the thyroid gland is sufficiently disturbed.
(14) And, finally, as regards the thyroid factor in the pathology of exophthalmic goitre, I agree with Gley that the majority of the symptoms in many patients with that disease can apparently, from an experimental standpoint, be as plausibly explained by the hypothesis of partially deficient thyroid activity as by the hypothesis of augmentation of thyroid function.