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March 28, 1908


JAMA. 1908;L(13):1043. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530390041013

An interesting suggestion is made by W. G. McCallum and V. Voegtlin1 in regard to calcium in tetany. The observations of Loeb and J. B. McCallum on the effect of calcium in inhibiting the muscular twitchings produced by various salts and also the good effects, noted by several observers, of milk in preventing tetany after parathyroidectomy proved very suggestive in this connection. McCallum and Voegtlin found that by the intravenous injection of a calcium salt (5 per cent. solution of acetate or lactate) the violent symptoms of tremor, tachycardia, rigidity, etc., following parathyroidectomy may be almost instantly relieved and that the relief continues for twenty-four hours. Subcutaneous injection of the calcium and introduction by mouth act more slowly but are quite as effective. Magnesium acts much like calcium, but potassium intensifies the symptoms. Other studies tend to show that there is an increased output of calcium in the excreta