Thetania: Symptoms and Treatment

A tetany — a clinical syndrome, during which there is neuromuscular excitability. It can be manifested as a result of a metabolic disorder and a decrease in ionized calcium in the blood. Most often, this syndrome is manifested by cramps in the muscles of the limbs and face. In some cases, cramps in the heart muscles may manifest, which can lead to cardiac arrest.

Sometimes the syndrome occurs in newborn infants and disappears in about 21 days. Pregnant women, during this syndrome, can experience tetany of the uterus, which significantly complicates childbirth.


Clinicians identify many causes that can cause the appearance of this syndrome. Often, tetanic muscle contraction occurs due to a decrease in calcium in the blood. The cause of this syndrome is sometimes a violation of parathyroid glands.

Aetanic convulsions can also be caused by such etiological factors:

  • stomach disease;
  • Endocrine pathology
  • various injuries that caused hemorrhages in the parathyroid glands
  • dehydration due to frequent vomiting and loose stool
  • hyperparathyroidism of the parathyroid adenoma;
  • nerve stress and stress
  • acid-base balance disturbance
  • congenital abnormalities of the parathyroid gland

Often, tetany can occur after the operation.

In newborns, the syndrome may occur due to the fact that calcium intake from the mother stops (hypocalcemic tetany).

Failure of the balance of microelements can lead to the fact that the patient develops a neurogenic tetany.

In pregnant women, this syndrome can occur if there is a disruption of the parathyroid gland. The aetiology of the uterus can be caused by the following reasons:

  1. severe stress;
  2. inflammation and pathological changes in the uterus
  3. scar formation on the uterus
  4. endocrine and metabolic disorders
  5. swelling of the pelvic organs or a narrow pelvis


Clinicians distinguish the following forms of this pathological process:

  • Neurogenic (manifested by hyperventilation crisis)
  • Enterogenic (caused by a violation of calcium absorption in the intestine)
  • hyperventilation
  • hypocalcemic;
  • Latent tetany
  • gastrogenic;
  • Pasture;
  • tetany pregnant.

There is also a tetany of newborns, which is divided into early and late hypocalcemia of the newborn.


Symptomatic of this syndrome depends on its kind. Since there are several forms of this syndrome, the clinical picture may differ. However, we can distinguish such general symptoms of this process:

  1. tingling;
  2. limbs numbness
  3. sensation of crawling
  4. muscle spasms
  5. convulsive contractions;
  6. quick breathing
  7. speech impairment
  8. pallor of the skin;
  9. muscle spasm of arms and legs
  10. sensation of suffocation
  11. increased sweating
  12. clouding of the eyes.


In order to accurately diagnose tetanus syndrome, carry out such diagnostic procedures:

  • tapping the nerve endings of the limbs and facial nerve with a hammer
  • the galvanic current is passed through the peroneal nerve and the elbow joint
  • Drag the limbs of the hands or feet with a rubber harness. When carrying out this method, brushing, numbness of the limb, or painful sensations can be observed. Such manifestations are evidence of the presence of this syndrome.

Also, to identify tetany, you need to put the patient on his back and start bending his leg in the hip joint. To testify about the presence of this ailment will be a spasm in the flexor of the thigh.

Sometimes, an electrocardiogram can help to identify the disease. By its curve, you can determine this kind of syndrome, like latent tetany.


As a rule, the treatment of tetany is aimed at eliminating convulsive seizures and preventing their appearance.

Medications include medicines that contain vitamin D. These drugs include:

  1. Ergocalciferol
  2. Videocle
  3. Dihydrotachysterol

Also prescribed drugs that contain calcium. Such drugs are considered to be most effective in treating tetany.

Do not take food and additives that contain phosphorus, as they interfere with the production of calcium.

Often, for treatment, the patient is injected intravenously with such solutions:

  • Calcium chloride
  • magnesium sulfate;
  • Calcium gluconate.

Also, sedatives are prescribed, which reduce emotional tension, and act as a sedative.

With this syndrome, you must follow the diet. The patient’s diet should contain foods that are rich in calcium. However, the use of dairy products should be reduced. Although they contain calcium in themselves, they have a lot of phosphorus in them.

Often, the patient is assigned water procedures that well complement the treatment of tetanus syndrome.

With tetany of the uterus, independent labor is impossible, therefore, a cesarean section is performed.

Possible complications

Syndrome of tetany can lead to the development of serious pathological processes in the following systems of the body:

  1. cardiovascular system
  2. Gastrointestinal tract.

Also under the influence of this syndrome is the vegetative nervous system, which during the illness is in a state of increased excitability, which can lead to complications.

In some cases, tetany can affect the mental state of the patient, which manifests itself as neurasthenic or hysterical reactions.


There are no specific preventive measures against this syndrome. Reduce the risk of developing such a pathological process can be if you adhere to the rules of a healthy lifestyle and regularly undergo a medical examination.


In most cases, the prognosis for patients with tetany is favorable. The main thing is to start treatment of this ailment in time. A threat to the patient may be represented by laryngospasm, which occur during seizures. However, the prognosis is unfavorable for those patients who have concomitant diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and organs of the cardiovascular system.