[Tetany as a difficult diagnostic problem in the neurological outpatient department]

Neurol Neurochir Pol. 2003 May-Jun;37(3):653-64.
[Article in Polish]


The paper presents a model of diagnostic and therapeutic management of tetany, with special attention paid the role of magnesium and to psychotherapy or psychiatric treatment. Two types of tetany are distinguished: manifest and latent (spasmophilia). The former, due to hypocalcemia, is relatively rare and usually postoperative (parathyroid tetany), while the mechanism of the much more common latent tetany or spasmophilia involves hyperventilation and magnesium deficiency. Latent tetany affects particularly young women. There are many signs of spasmophilia, but none is specific, so this pathology is difficult to diagnose.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium / therapeutic use
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Hyperventilation / complications
  • Hyperventilation / diagnosis
  • Hypocalcemia / complications
  • Hypocalcemia / diagnosis
  • Hypocalcemia / drug therapy
  • Magnesium / therapeutic use
  • Magnesium Deficiency / complications
  • Magnesium Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Magnesium Deficiency / drug therapy
  • Spasm / diagnosis
  • Tetany / drug therapy
  • Tetany / etiology
  • Tetany / physiopathology*
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use


  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium