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test-retest reliability

SEE: under reliability.

test set

A collection of known data used to assess the sensitivity, specificity, and reliability of an analytical procedure.

test tube

A glass tube closed at one end. It is used in laboratory sciences to hold chemicals and other material.


(tĕ-tăn′ĭk) [Gr. tetanikos] 1. Pert. to or producing tetanus. 2. Any agent producing tetanic spasms.


(tĕt″ă-nī-zā′shŭn) [Gr. tetanos, stretched] 1. Production of tetanus or tetanic spasms by induction of the disease. 2. Induction of tetanic contractions in a muscle by electrical stimuli.


(tĕt′ă-nīz) To induce tonic muscular spasms.


(tĕt′ă-nŭs) [Gr. tetanos, stretched] An acute, life-threatening illness caused by the toxin tetanospasmin, produced in infected wounds by the bacillus Clostridium tetani. The disease is marked by extreme muscular rigidity, violent muscle spasms, and often, respiratory and autonomic failure. Because of proactive immunization programs in the U.S., the disease affects only 50 patients annually. In nations without effective immunization programs, the disease is very common and usually deadly. SEE: Clostridium tetani; lockjaw; tetanolysin; tetanospasmin; trismus.

 ETIOLOGY: The responsible bacteria is most likely to proliferate in tetanus-prone wounds, e.g., those contaminated by soil, animal excrement or debris; puncture, avulsion, or bite wounds; burns; frostbite; necrotic tissues; gangrene; injection site infections; umbilical stump infections; or uterine infections. It is less likely to infect shallow wounds with cleanly cut edges. The spores of C. tetani germinate in the anaerobic depths of tetanus-prone injuries, producing bacteria that release tetanospasmin. This neurotoxin is carried to the central nervous system, where it blocks impulses that modulate muscle contraction. The incubation period varies from 1 or 2 days to a few months. The shorter the incubation, the more deadly the illness is likely to be.

 SYMPTOMS: Unopposed muscular contraction leads to rigidity and spasticity, esp. of the muscles of the jaw, neck, back, abdomen, and esophagus. Lockjaw (trismus) is a hallmark of the disease, as are violent arching of the back muscles (opisthotonus), and a rigid, fixed smile (risus sardonicus). Intense painful muscle spasms may be triggered by noises, bright lights, attempts to swallow or eat, or other stimuli. The patient may also suffer profuse sweating, low-grade fever, and wild fluctuations in pulse, blood pressure, and respirations. Diagnosis usually is based on a history of trauma with no previous tetanus immunization and on the clinical picture presented.

 TREATMENT: Early débridement may lessen the burden of toxin-producing bacteria in the wound. Muscle-relaxing drugs, like baclofen and diazepam, and neuromuscular blocking agents, such as vecuronium, reduce muscle spasm. Beta blockers like propranolol decrease the incidence of tachycardias and hypertension. ...

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