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September 1927


Author Affiliations

From the D. K. Rachford Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Am J Dis Child. 1927;34(3):425-428. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1927.04130210100011

In cases of tetany, Chvostek1 called attention to sudden, tic like contraction of certain muscles supplied by the facial nerve which was elicited by tapping over the middle of the cheek. Later, similar phenomena such as Schultze's sign, Weiss' sign, Lust's sign, Trousseau's sign and the femoralis reflex have been pointed out as being of diagnostic value in tetany. All of these signs vary in the frequency with which they are found in tetany as well as in their diagnostic value. Probably not one of them can be accepted alone as being unquestionably pathognomonic of tetany. Various theories have been advanced in explanation of the mechanism of these phenomena. It has been thought that the hyperirritability may be localized in the muscle itself, that a spinal reflex is involved, or that there is spasm of the blood vessels of the nerves. The consensus of opinion, however, is that the

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