For purposes of clarity, let us assume that there are three types of hypothyroidism during childhood, namely cretinism, juvenile myxedema and borderline hypothyroidism. As a matter of fact they are all one and the same disorder modified according to (a) the severity and (b) the length of time during which the patient has been subjected to the deficiency. Because we are dealing with a hormone whose purpose it is not only to develop the organism during the most plastic period of its existence but also to maintain it in functional equilibrium, one can readily appreciate the diagnostic variables to be encountered in a disruption of such a mechanism at any age.
Let us first consider the degree of severity. Until recently the more conservative observers were unwilling to concede any form of hypothyroidism which could not easily be classified under cretinism or myxedema. When analyzed closely, such a stand is