Tetany vs. Tetanus

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Tetany and Tetanus is that the Tetany is a medical sign consisting of the involuntary contraction of muscles and Tetanus is a human disease.

  • Tetany

    Tetany or tetany seizure is a medical sign consisting of the involuntary contraction of muscles, which may be caused by disease or other conditions that increase the action potential frequency of muscle cells or the nerves that innervate them. Muscle cramps which are caused by the disease tetanus are not classified as tetany; rather, they are due to a lack of inhibition to the neurons that supply muscles.

  • Tetanus

    Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, is an infection characterized by muscle spasms. In the most common type, the spasms begin in the jaw and then progress to the rest of the body. These spasms usually last a few minutes each time and occur frequently for three to four weeks. Spasms may be so severe that bone fractures may occur. Other symptoms may include fever, sweating, headache, trouble swallowing, high blood pressure, and a fast heart rate. Onset of symptoms is typically three to twenty-one days following infection. It may take months to recover. About 10% of those infected die.

    Tetanus is caused by an infection with the bacterium Clostridium tetani, which is commonly found in soil, saliva, dust, and manure. The bacteria generally enter through a break in the skin such as a cut or puncture wound by a contaminated object. They produce toxins that interfere with muscle contractions, resulting in the typical symptoms. Diagnosis is based on the presenting signs and symptoms. The disease does not spread between people.

    Infection can be prevented by proper immunization with the tetanus vaccine. In those who have a significant wound and less than three doses of the vaccine, both immunization and tetanus immune globulin are recommended. The wound should be cleaned and any dead tissue should be removed. In those who are infected tetanus immune globulin or, if it is not available, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is used. Muscle relaxants may be used to control spasms. Mechanical ventilation may be required if a person’s breathing is affected.

    Tetanus occurs in all parts of the world but is most frequent in hot and wet climates where the soil contains a lot of organic matter. In 2015 there were about 209,000 infections and about 59,000 deaths globally. This is down from 356,000 deaths in 1990. Description of the disease by Hippocrates exists from at least as far back as the 5th century BC. The cause of the disease was determined in 1884 by Antonio Carle and Giorgio Rattone at the University of Turin, with a vaccine being developed in 1924.

  • Tetany (noun)

    A condition characterized by painful muscular spasms, caused by faulty calcium metabolism

  • Tetanus (noun)

    A serious and often fatal disease caused by the infection of an open wound with the anaerobic bacterium noshow=1, found in soil and the intestines and faeces of animals.

  • Tetanus (noun)

    A state of muscle tension caused by sustained contraction arising from a rapid series of nerve impulses which do not allow the muscle to relax.

  • Tetany (noun)

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

  • Tetanus (noun)

    a bacterial disease marked by rigidity and spasms of the voluntary muscles.

  • Tetanus (noun)

    the prolonged contraction of a muscle caused by rapidly repeated stimuli.

Oxford Dictionary

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