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July 19, 1985

Irritable Bowel, Mitral Valve Prolapse, and Associated Conditions

Author Affiliations

Gesell Institute of Human Development New Haven, Conn

JAMA. 1985;254(3):358-359. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360030048011

To the Editor.—  We commend Dr Sataline1 for his careful observation of an association between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and mitral valve prolapse syndrome (MVPS). While the English literature contains no reports of an association between these two syndromes, the French literature is rich with such an association, which can be best understood by viewing both IBS and MVPS as manifestations of a metabolic disorder that has been extensively described in France, and is known as constitutional chronic tetany, latent tetany syndrome (LTS), or spasmophilia.2-5Latent tetany syndrome is a physiological state of neuromuscular hyperexcitability that can be demonstrated on physical examination and by electromyography. A variant of Chvostek's sign, elicited by tapping the buccal branch of the facial nerve (facialis phenomenon), is positive in 80% of patients with LTS; electromyographically demonstrated Trousseau's phenomenon (usually without visible manifestation of Trousseau's sign) is demonstrable in almost all untreated patients.