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April 1974

Tetany Following Phosphate: Enemas in Chronic Renal Disease

Author Affiliations

Montreal; Hanover, NH
From the Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. Dr. Chesney is now with the Division of Nephrology, Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University. Dr. Haughton is now with the Department of Community Medicine, Dartmouth School of Medicine, Hanover, NH.

Am J Dis Child. 1974;127(4):584-586. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110230130023

A girl with chronic pyelonephritis and dehydration developed tetany on two occasions after receiving a hypertonic phosphate enema. Biochemical evaluation disclosed hypocalcemia, hypomagnesemia, and, on one occasion, hyperphosphatemia. The tetany responded to calcium and magnesium therapy. We discuss the relationship of hyperphosphatemia, presumably secondary to colonic phosphate absorption, to hypocalcemia and hypomagnesemia. Phosphatecontaining enemas probably should be used with caution in patients with chronic renal insufficiency.

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