Historical Tidbit: Hakaru Hashimoto, M.D. (May 4, 1881 to January 9, 1934) and Hashimoto’s Disease
Submitted by: Alan D. Rogol, MD, Ph.D.
Hakaru Hashimoto was a Japanese doctor and medical scientist. The condition that now bears his name
is an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid where the thyroid is infiltrated with mainly lymphocytes organized into follicles, often with germinal centers. Hashimoto examined thyroid tissue from 4 middle-aged women following thyroidectomy for compressive symptoms (Arch Klin Chir 1912; 97:219–248). Although the article is in German, he used the Latin struma lymphomatosa to describe the histology. It became a more prominent condition when the British thyroid surgeon, Cecil Joll first used the term Hashimoto’s Disease (Brit J Surg 1939; 27:351–389). Since then it has gone from a rare condition to a common autoimmune disease, even in children (J Pediatr 1960; 57:399-409).