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October 1949


Author Affiliations

From the Children's Hospital Research Foundation and the Department of Pediatrics. University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Am J Dis Child. 1949;78(4):537-560. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1949.02030050552005

THE STUDY to be reported arose as part of a general inquiry into the occurrence and significance of hypocalcemia in infancy and childhood. An earlier investigation1 had indicated that a wide symptomatology, transcending by far the range of symptoms usually described for rachitic tetany, is associated with hypocalcemia in the postacidotic period of infantile diarrhea. It appeared of great interest to extend the inquiry to the problem of neonatal tetany.

Not until 1913 was the syndrome of neonatal tetany described by Kehrer, an obstetrician.2 He reported 6 cases with spasms, accompanied by edema, vomiting or fever. Therapy with calcium chloride was dramatically effective. From the literature of the next two decades two reports, although not dealing with typical cases of neonatal tetany, should be mentioned because of their documentation by chemical data. Powers, in 1925,3 described a case of persistent tetany in a 5 week old infant,

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