Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An abnormal condition characterized by periodic painful muscular spasms and tremors, caused by faulty calcium metabolism and associated with diminished function of the parathyroid glands.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A condition characterized by painful muscular spasms, caused by faulty calcium metabolism

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A morbid condition resembling tetanus, but distinguished from it by being less severe and having intermittent spasms.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A disease characterized by irregularly intermittent tonic spasms of various groups of muscles, more commonly those of the upper extremities, unaccompanied, as a rule, by fever.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. clinical neurological syndrome characterized by muscular twitching and cramps and (when severe) seizures; associated with calcium deficiency (hypoparathyroidism) or vitamin D deficiency or alkalosis

Etymologies

From tetanus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Experiments on animals, which proved more sensitive to loss of the parathyroids than men were, showed that muscles tightened convulsively, a situation called tetany (tet'uh-nee; "stretch" G).

    The Human Brain

  • Hypocalcemic tetany as an early sign of DiGeorge syndrome in adult woman.

    Resources for Healthcare Professionals

  • You could actually feel the delicious muscle tetany spasming through Clegg's jaw as he fought to control the Coitus reservatus for after PMQs.

    Vote Clegg Get Brown

  • Last time we had a bird, a parakeet, it lived for five or six years and then had a stroke, began having a kind of rolling tetany.

    Creatures of the Night

  • Although tetany occurs in all muscles that are stimulated, flexor groups are usually stronger and predominate.

    July 18, 1871

  • This glandular decline interferes with calcium metabolism and may produce the condition of hypocalcemic tetany.

    Meditation as Medicine

  • “I could not control it,” he said, “and my back and legs hurt; it was almost like tetany violent muscle spasms and convulsions.”

    Bitter Harvest

  • The complications of tetany and hypoparathyrodism were not understood.

    Emil Theodor Kocher

  • Probably because of this he had less problems with postoperative tetany.

    Emil Theodor Kocher

  • The spasms increased in severity and duration until the patient's body was hard as wood, arched in an agony that came on and receded, came on again, went off, and at last came on in an endless tetany that could not be relaxed by anything save death.

    Drums of Autumn

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  • Result of abnormal calcium metabolism

    July 29, 2009