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Title: Neurophysiological findings in patients 1 year after snake bite induced neurotoxicity in Sri Lanka
Authors: Bell, D.J.
Wijegunasinghe, D.
Samarakoon, S.
Palipana, H.
Gunasekera, S.
de Silva, H.A.
Lalloo, D.G.
Ranawaka, U.K.
de Silva, H.J.
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2010; 104(5): pp.351-6
Abstract: Snake bite causes significant morbidity and mortality in Sri Lanka. Snake venoms contain neurotoxins that block neuromuscular junction transmission. Presynaptic neurotoxicity most commonly causes destruction of nerve terminals with recovery by regrowth, whilst postsynaptic neurotoxicity usually involves competition at the acetylcholine receptor. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there were long-term clinical or neurophysiological changes in snake bite survivors 1 year after their envenoming. Detailed neurophysiological tests and clinical examinations were performed on 26 snake bite victims who had presented with neurotoxicity 12 months previously, and their results were compared with controls recruited from the same communities. Significant differences were observed in some nerve conduction parameters in some snake bite victims compared with controls, predominantly in those thought to have elapid bites, including prolongation of sensory, motor and F-wave latencies and reduction of conduction velocities. There was no evidence of any residual deficits in neuromuscular junction transmission. These results suggest a possible demyelinating type polyneuropathy. None of the cases or controls had abnormalities on clinical examination. This is one of the few studies to report possible long-term neurological damage following systemic neurotoxicity after snake bite. The clinical significance of these neurophysiological abnormalities is uncertain and further studies are required to investigate whether the abnormalities persist and to see whether clinical consequences develop
Description: Indexed in MEDLINE
ISSN: 0035-9203 (Print)
1878-3503 (Electronic)
Appears in Collections:Journal/Magazine Articles

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