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tetanus antitoxin

Protective antibody against Clostridium tetani, the bacterium that causes tetanus. The antibody develops after inoculation with tetanus toxin or toxoid or infection with C. tetani.


(tĕt′ă-nē) [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; hyperventilation; 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.

alkalotic t. Tetany resulting from respiratory alkalosis, as in hyperventilation, or from metabolic alkalosis induced by excessive intake of sodium bicarbonate or excessive loss of chlorides by vomiting, gastric lavage, or suction.

duration t. Continuous contraction, esp. in degenerated muscles, in response to a continuous electric current.

hyperventilation t. Tetany caused by continued hyperventilation.

hypocalcemic t. Tetany due to low serum calcium and high serum phosphate levels. This may be due to lack of vitamin D, factors that interfere with calcium absorption such as steatorrhea or infantile diarrhea, or defective renal excretion of phosphorus.

latent t. Tetany that requires mechanical or electrical stimulation of nerves to show characteristic signs of excitability; the opposition of manifest tetany.

manifest t. Tetany in which the characteristic symptoms such as carpopedal spasm, laryngospasm, and convulsions are present; the opposite of latent tetany.

parathyroid t. Tetany resulting from excision of the parathyroid glands or from hyposecretion of the parathyroid glands as a result of disease or disorders of the glands. SEE: hypoparathyroidism.

rachitic t. Tetany due to hypocalcemia accompanying vitamin D deficiency.

thyreoprival t. Tetany resulting from removal of the thyroid gland, accompanied by inadvertent removal of the parathyroid glands.


Binding or attachment, e.g., of white blood cells as they migrate through tissues.

tetra-, tetr-

[Gr. tettar-, four] Prefixes meaning four.


(tĕt″ră-bā′sĭk) [Gr. tetras, four, + basis, base] Having four replaceable hydrogen atoms, said of an acid or acid salt.

tetrachlorethylene, tetrachloroethylene, tetrachloroethene

(te″tră-klor-eth′ĭ-lēn , te″tră-klō-rō-eth′ĭ-lēn , te″tră-klō-rō-eth′ēn″) Cl2-C=C-Cl2...

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