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Medical Term:


Pronunciation: tet'a-nus


  1. A disease marked by painful tonic muscular contractions, caused by the neurotropic toxin (tetanospasmin) of Clostridium tetani acting on the central nervous system.
  2. A sustained muscular contraction caused by a series of nerve stimuli repeated so rapidly that individual muscular responses are fused, producing a sustained tetanic contraction.

See: emprosthotonos, opisthotonos

[L. fr. G. tetanos, convulsive tension]

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.