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Ann Surg. 1985 Nov;202(5):659-63.

Brown recluse spider bites. A comparison of early surgical excision versus dapsone and delayed surgical excision.


In a prospective study, 31 patients with brown recluse spider bites were treated by either immediate surgical excision or with the leukocyte inhibitor, dapsone, followed by delayed surgical excision. Patients were matched for age, gender, and lesion size and were excluded if the typical history and physical findings were not present. In patients treated with immediate surgical excision (N = 14), delayed wound healing (N = 5) and objectional scarring (N = 7) were common complications. However, pretreatment treatment with dapsone reduced the incidence of wound complications (N = 1) and objectional scarring (N = 1) (p less than 0.05), while reducing the need for surgical excision (N = 1). There were no severe drug reactions due to dapsone, although one patient had persistent G.I. upset. Pretreatment with dapsone not only reduced surgical complications but also improved the outcome of patients bitten by the brown recluse spider.

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