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Article
September 21, 1912

THE RELATION OF THE PARATHYROID GLAND TO INFANTILE TETANY

JAMA. 1912;LIX(12):938-939. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270090182010
Abstract

The evidence for and against the causal relation between lesions of the parathyroid glands and spasmophilia or infantile tetany may come under three heads: clinical, pathologic and chemical. It should be borne in mind that lesions of the parathyroids have always been regarded only as predisposing factors—in other words, conditions that render the system more susceptible to the convulsive seizures, but that to produce such seizures some active factor, such as diarrhea, constipation, various infections, etc., are necessary. This narrows the subject down to the consideration of two questions: 1. Are lesions of the parathyroid in any way the cause of infantile tetany? 2. If we answer the first in the affirmative, is a disturbance of the parathyroid secretion necessary in order that spasmophilic attacks may occur?

From a clinical standpoint, we may bring evidence on only the first of these questions. It has long been known that total extirpation

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