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Wilderness Environ Med. 2018 Mar;29(1):111-118. doi: 10.1016/j.wem.2017.10.002. Epub 2018 Jan 8.

Amatoxin-Containing Mushroom Poisonings: Species, Toxidromes, Treatments, and Outcomes.

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Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA. Electronic address:


Amatoxins are produced primarily by 3 species of mushrooms: Amanita, Lepiota, and Galerina. Because amatoxin poisonings are increasing, the objective of this review was to identify all amatoxin-containing mushroom species, present a toxidromic approach to earlier diagnoses, and compare the efficacies and outcomes of therapies. To meet these objectives, Internet search engines were queried with keywords to select peer-reviewed scientific articles on amatoxin-containing mushroom poisoning and management. Descriptive epidemiological analyses have documented that most mushroom poisonings are caused by unknown mushrooms, and most fatal mushroom poisonings are caused by amatoxin-containing mushrooms. Amanita species cause more fatal mushroom poisonings than other amatoxin-containing species, such as Galerina and Lepiota. Amanita phalloides is responsible for most fatalities, followed by Amanita virosa and Amanita verna. The most frequently reported fatal Lepiota ingestions are due to Lepiota brunneoincarnata, and the most frequently reported fatal Galerina species ingestions are due to Galerina marginata. With the exception of liver transplantation, the current treatment strategies for amatoxin poisoning are all supportive and have not been subjected to rigorous efficacy testing in randomized controlled trials. All patients with symptoms of late-appearing gastrointestinal toxicity with or without false recovery or quiescent periods preceding acute liver insufficiency should be referred to centers providing liver transplantation. Patients with amatoxin-induced acute liver insufficiency that does not progress to liver failure will have a more favorable survival profile with supportive care than patients with amatoxin-induced acute liver failure, about half of whom will require liver transplantation.


Amatoxins; alpha-amanitin; amatoxin-containing; mushrooms; poisonous

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