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Gyromitra Mushroom Toxicity.


StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019-.
2019 May 12.

Author information

John A. Burns School of Medicine
Oregon Health Science University


Gyromitra esculenta, the false morel, is a toxic mushroom. The mushroom derives its name (esculenta) from the Latin for edible. Certain cultures, as well as many mushroom guides and websites, consider this mushroom safe to eat provided that proper preparation techniques are used to reduce its toxicity. Unfortunately, several incidences of poisoning have been reported in foragers seeking and ingesting the Gyromitra esculenta. In general, most poisonings occur when foragers search for true morels, such as Morchella species, but instead find and consume Gyromitra. The Gyromitra syndrome consists of a gastrointestinal prodrome occurring more than 5 hours after eating Gyromitra esculenta. Acute liver injury can occur over the next 2 days in a significant percentage of cases, and acute kidney injury may occur to a lesser degree. Confusion characterizes acute central nervous system (CNS) toxicity. In the most severe instances, refractory seizures are a feared, but rare, a consequence of the pharmacology of gyromitrin’s toxic metabolite, monomethylhydrazine (MMH). Monomethylhydrazine binds to and inhibits pyridoxal phosphokinase, thereby inhibiting activation of vitamin B6 (as pyridoxal 5-phosphate) from functioning as the key co-factor in the synthesis of GABA. The subsequent depletion of GABA leads to CNS excitation and seizures.[1][2][3]

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