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Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 2013 Sep-Oct;55(5):295-301. doi: 10.1590/S0036-46652013000500001.

Acute kidney injury caused by Crotalus and Bothrops snake venom: a review of epidemiology, clinical manifestations and treatment.

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Toxicological Assistance Center, Instituto Dr José Frota, FortalezaCeará, Brazil.


Ophidic accidents are an important public health problem due to their incidence, morbidity and mortality. An increasing number of cases have been registered in Brazil in the last few years. Several studies point to the importance of knowing the clinical complications and adequate approach in these accidents. However, knowledge about the risk factors is not enough and there are an increasing number of deaths due to these accidents in Brazil. In this context, acute kidney injury (AKI) appears as one of the main causes of death and consequences for these victims, which are mainly young males working in rural areas. Snakes of the Bothrops and Crotalus genera are the main responsible for renal involvement in ophidic accidents in South America. The present study is a literature review of AKI caused by Bothrops and Crotalus snake venom regarding diverse characteristics, emphasizing the most appropriate therapeutic approach for these cases. Recent studies have been carried out searching for complementary therapies for the treatment of ophidic accidents, including the use of lipoic acid, simvastatin and allopurinol. Some plants, such as Apocynaceae, Lamiaceae and Rubiaceae seem to have a beneficial role in the treatment of this type of envenomation. Future studies will certainly find new therapeutic measures for ophidic accidents.

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