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December 1920


Author Affiliations

Teaching Fellow in Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School MINNEAPOLIS

Am J Dis Child. 1920;20(6):539-544. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1920.01910300079006

In the first paper of this series1 I stated that the term spasmophilia was being used to denote that latent condition in infants one year old or less in which a heightened electrical irritability is shown by an anodal opening contraction (A O C) of less than 5 ma. and requiring less current than the anodal closing contraction (A C C), a phenomenon which Thiemich was the first to consider as spasmophilic; or a cathodal opening contraction (C O C) with less than 5 ma., known as Escherich's sign. It was further stated that for the active condition manifesting convulsions, laryngospasm, carpopedal spasm and other forms of spasm the term tetany is reserved. This classification is recommended by others, notably Langstein and Meyer.

In testing the electrical reactions of older children, one is confronted with the question: Do the same standards of electrical diagnosis for infants apply to children

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