Successful treatment of crotalid-induced neurotoxicity with a new polyspecific crotalid Fab antivenom

R. F. Clark, S. R. Williams, S. P. Nordt, L. V. Boyer-Hassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Study objective: To report the effectiveness of a new polyvalent crotalid antivenom on neurotoxicity associated with North American rattlesnake envenomation. Two syndromes of crotalid-induced neurotoxicity have been reported. In severe envenomation by Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus (Mojave rattlesnake), weakness and fasciculations of various muscle groups, including those innervated by cranial nerves, may develop. Occasionally respiratory insufficiency develops. The second neurotoxic effect is myokymia, a type of fasciculation most frequently reported after bites by Crotalus horridus horridus (timber rattlesnake) and Crotalus atrox (Western diamondback rattlesnake). Conventional polyvalent antivenom is often ineffective in the treatment of venom-induced neurotoxicity. Methods: We report a case series of three patients envenomated by North American rattlesnakes, one of which was identified as C scutulatus scutulatus. All three patients experienced neurotoxicity with weakness, paresthesias, and dramatic fasciculations, along with other signs and symptoms of crotalid venom poisoning. Results: The administration of a new polyspecific crotalid antivenom made of ovine Fab was successful in immediately and completely reversing neurotoxicity in each of these patients Conclusion: We report the use of a new antivenom for North American crotalid envenomation that seems to have efficacy in reversing neurotoxicity associated with these bites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-57
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of emergency medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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