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January 24, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(4):266-268. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720300036008

Tetany is a clinical syndrome characterized by a hyperexcitability of the striped musculature. It has been described as sequential or concomitant to many pathologic, physical and psychic conditions. It has been observed in acidosis as well as in alkalosis. It is seen in pregnancy, in menstruation and in lactation. It occurs with inflammation of the female sex organs. It can be experimentally produced by parathyroidectomy. It is often a part of the picture of spasmophilia. Both spasmophilia and tetany are seen with especial frequency in rachitic children. Erdheim has found parathyroid hyperplasia in rickets, and has produced rickets by removing the parathyroids from young rats.

The body chemistry in tetany has received much attention of late. A deficiency of the blood calcium has been repeatedly reported. For a time, calcium deficiency was taken as the criterion of a true tetany. Recently, instances of the existence of all the usual tetanic

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