January 1925


Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1925;35(1):100-114. doi:10.1001/archinte.1925.00120070105006

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Tetany may be defined as a condition of peripheral nervous hyperexcitability, characterized by intermittent spasms of the extremities, without loss of consciousness.

The first reference in the literature to tetany is attributed to Clarke (1815). Other names, particularly those of Kellie, Steinheim and Dansie, are associated with the earlier descriptions of the condition. The title "tetany" we owe to Corvisart.

Tetany can scarcely be regarded as a distinct clinical disease but rather as a syndrome which may occur under a number of widely differing circumstances. A proper understanding of the nature of this syndrome necessitates a close examination of the various etiologic conditions. Lacking a more accurate classification, the tetanies are usually studied under one of the following divisions:

  1. Tetania parathyreopriva.

  2. Traumatic tetany.

  3. The idiopathic tetany of workmen.

  4. The tetany of gastro-intestinal disorders.

  5. Infantile tetany or spasmophilia.

  6. Maternity tetany.

  7. Guanidin tetany.

  8. The tetany of forced respiration.

  9. The tetany of

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