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Toxicon. 1985;23(4):631-6.

Myonecrosis, myoglobinuria and acute renal failure induced by South American rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus terrificus) envenomation in Brazil.


The venom of the Brazilian rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus is know to have hemolytic and neurotoxic physiopathological activities which may cause acute renal failure with hemoglobinuria and/or methemoglobinuria. As far as we know, no report has been published on the ability of the venom of this rattlesnake species to cause rhabdomyolysis. In the present paper we demonstrate that the venom of Brazilian snakes of the genus Crotalus can induce systemic myonecrosis. Clinical, laboratory and anatomo-pathological data for two patients referred to the University Hospital of the Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, 24 hr after a rattlesnake bite, are presented. In both cases, exaggerated elevation of serum levels of the enzymes creatine phosphokinase, lactate dehydrogenase and glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase were detected, as well as data suggesting acute hypercatabolic renal failure. Immunoelectrophoresis of the serum and urine of these patients, carried out against specific anti-myoglobin serum (Behringwerke), demonstrated myoglobinemia and myoglobinuria, confirming injury to muscle tissue. Electron microscopy of a calf muscle biopsy taken from the leg contralateral to the bite from one patient revealed foci of myonecrosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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