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November 1923


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine.

Am J Dis Child. 1923;26(5):486-501. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1923.04120170097010

In the preliminary physiologic study of the gastric contents of infants,1 it was noted that those babies who were suffering from tetany presented gastric findings which differed markedly from those of normal infants. Therefore, a special study of eleven cases of manifest tetany was undertaken this past year.

Tetany was diagnosed clinically on the history or presence of an inspiratory crow, carpopedal spasm, convulsions and positive Chvostek and Trousseau signs. The diagnosis was confirmed by the electrical reactions of Erb, but the ultimate criterion for the diagnosis and progress of the disease was the calcium content of the blood. This, as has been shown by Howland and Marriott,2 and others, may fall in active tetany from the normal values of 10 to 11 mg. per hundred cubic centimeters of serum to as low as 3.5 mg., the average being about 5.5 mg. per hundred cubic centimeters. Symptoms of

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