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[Gr. tetanos, stretched] Intermittent tonic muscular spasms that typically involve the arms or legs.
SYMPTOMS Spasms may be accompanied by numbness, tingling, loss of function, and pain in affected muscle groups.
SIGNS Characteristic signs include Trousseau sign, Chvostek sign, and the peroneal sign. Prolongation of the isoelectric phase of the S-T segment of the electrocardiogram may be present with tetany that is caused by a low serum calcium level. SEE: Chvostek sign; SEE: hyperventilation; SEE: Trousseau sign
ETIOLOGY It may occur in infants, esp. newborns in intensive care and those who have had perinatal asphyxia. Other causative factors include hypocalcemia, e.g., in hypoparathyroidism or after parathyroid surgery, hypomagnesemia, hypokalemia, alkalosis, e.g., in hyperventilation, infection with Clostridium tetani, and vitamin D deficiency.
Venes, Donald, editor. "Tetany." Taber's Medical Dictionary, 23rd ed., F.A. Davis Company, 2017. Taber's Online, www.tabers.com/tabersonline/view/Tabers-Dictionary/745913/all/tetany.
Tetany. In: Venes D, ed. Taber's Medical Dictionary. 23rd ed. F.A. Davis Company; 2017. https://www.tabers.com/tabersonline/view/Tabers-Dictionary/745913/all/tetany. Accessed June 17, 2019.
Tetany. (2017). In Venes, D. (Ed.), Taber's Medical Dictionary. Available from https://www.tabers.com/tabersonline/view/Tabers-Dictionary/745913/all/tetany
Tetany [Internet]. In: Venes D, editors. Taber's Medical Dictionary. F.A. Davis Company; 2017. [cited 2019 June 17]. Available from: https://www.tabers.com/tabersonline/view/Tabers-Dictionary/745913/all/tetany.
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