Tetany, in infants, has been recognized for many years as a disease entity evidenced by laryngospasm, respiratory spasm, muscular rigidity, contractures of the extremities, convulsions and even coma, and more recently by increased response to electrical and mechanical nervous stimulation. Many causes have been given for this symptom-complex, the earliest referring to tetany as the most dangerous of the complications associated with dentition. The first accurate description of the disease is that of J. Clark in 1815, which gives in detail the characteristic respiratory and muscular conditions. A few years later Marshall Hall wrote of the symptoms as brought about by stimulation of the central nervous system through peripheral irritation. In 1829 Kopp attributed the laryngospasm to thymus hypertrophy and at about the same time Leigh claimed that it was due to pressure on the vagus by enlarged tracheobronchial lymph-glands.
The first investigation of the electrical hyperirritability of children suffering
WILCOX HB. THE DIAGNOSIS OF INFANTILE TETANYWITH A REPORT ON EXPERIMENTAL TETANY IN DOGS. Am J Dis Child. 1911;I(6):393–416. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1911.04100060002001