Meaning of tetany in English:


Pronunciation /ˈtɛtəni/


mass noun
  • A condition marked by intermittent muscular spasms, caused by malfunction of the parathyroid glands and a consequent deficiency of calcium.

    ‘Short of full-blown tetany, in medical conditions with a low blood calcium the motor axons in the peripheral nerves may show an increased sensitivity to mechanical stimulation.’
    • ‘The patient may experience nausea, vomiting, hyperventilation, and hypocalcemia with muscle tetany and seizures.’
    • ‘Larger doses of fluoride can cause life-threatening hypocalcemia with convulsions, tetany, decreased myocardial contractility, ventricular arrhythmias, and cardiac arrest.’
    • ‘Five days later she developed tetany and hypocalcaemia.’
    • ‘Acute neonatal hypocalcaemia results in tetany and convulsions, usually at 5 to 14 days of age.’
    • ‘After surgery, the patient developed tetany and generalized paresthesias requiring large amounts of intravenous calcium and oral vitamin D.’
    • ‘Other manifestations of the disease include osteopenic bone disease, infertility, tetany, ataxia and neurologic disorders.’
    • ‘The differential diagnosis of tracheomalacia includes laryngomalacia, subglottic stenosis, congenital cysts, vocal cord paralysis, and hypocalcemic tetany.’
    • ‘A student nurse ordinarily in excellent health starts having menstrual cramps and hyperventilates producing all the symptoms listed above, even to the point of tetany.’
    • ‘Clinical symptoms are related to hypokalemia and hypertension, and may include weakness, paresthesias, cramps, tetany, fatigue, headache, and visual disturbances.’
    • ‘Other complications include colic, founder, diarrhea, choke, abortion and transit tetany.’
    • ‘This manifests symptomatically with episodes of severe muscular weakness or paralysis, tetany and postural hypotension.’
    • ‘One explanation of the apparent high death rate from infant tetanus was that it was mistaken for tetany, which causes convulsions and has been traced to a deficiency of calcium and other vital minerals during pregnancy.’
    • ‘Taking an example in practical terms, a cow down with tetany would be dead before a bottle of magnesium could be prescribed and administered.’
    • ‘For the spring calvers the best protection is to wean but in the meantime they need to get a magnesium supplement and it should be continued for at least a week after weaning as the stress of weaning can pre-dispose cows to tetany.’
    • ‘This is because people who suffer Panic Disorder, when they experience tetany for the first time, often think incorrectly that they are about to die.’
    • ‘Suckler cows with calves will also benefit from early turnout provided the fields are sheltered and dry and you take steps to prevent tetany.’
    • ‘Stress of any kind can be a major trigger for spring or autumn tetany.’


Late 19th century from French tétanie, from Latin tetanus (see tetanus).