The association of cataract with tetany has been known for many years. Lens opacities of the lamellar type are frequently found in children or adults who have suffered from infantile tetany. However, in the rapidly developing lens opacities that are found occasionally in presenile persons, tetany as a cause probably has been and is often overlooked. Cataracts appear not only in the idiopathic type of tetany but also in the postoperative type. The present discussion is confined to the latter type.
Postoperative tetany results from interference with the function of the parathyroid glands. These glands of internal secretion, usually four in number, are quite small and are situated in close apposition to the posterior surface of the thyroid gland. They apparently control calcium metabolism. The postoperative type of the disease is due to removal of the parathyroids during thyroidectomy, in some instances to interference with the blood supply to the
O'BRIEN CS. THE CATARACT OF POSTOPERATIVE TETANY: WITH A REPORT OF THREE CASES. Arch Ophthalmol. 1932;7(1):71–96. doi:10.1001/archopht.1932.00820080081005
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