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Toxicon. 2008 Jun 15;51(8):1535-7. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2008.03.009. Epub 2008 Mar 18.

A case of palytoxin poisoning due to contact with zoanthid corals through a skin injury.

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Department of General Surgery, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 110, Heidelberg, Germany.


A case of human poisoning by palytoxin after contact with zoanthid corals (Parazoanthus sp.) in an aquarium through skin injuries on fingers is reported. The clinical symptoms include swelling, paraesthesia and numbness around the site of the injury spreading over the arm, but also signs of systemic poisoning such as dizziness, general weakness and myalgia, irregularities in the ECG and indications of rhabdomyolysis. Symptomatic treatment consisted of infusion of physiological fluids. The patient recovered within 3 days. Analysis of the zoanthid coral involved revealed extremely high concentrations of palytoxin (between 2 and 3 mg/g).

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