Coagulopathy after snake bite by Bothrops neuwiedi: case report and results of in vitro experiments.

Coagulation studies were performed in a patient who had been bitten by a snake of the species Bothrops neuwiedi. The patient presented with hemorrhagic necrosis at the envenomization site and considerable bleeding from venous puncture sites. He developed a severe defibrination syndrome with a clottable fibrinogen level of approximately 0.1 g/l. Fibrinogen was not measurable by clotting time assay. Fibrin degradation products were greatly elevated. Treatment with antivenom caused an anaphylactic reaction within ten minutes and serum sickness after three days. In vitro experiments revealed that B. neuwiedi venom directly activates Factors II and X, but does not activate Factor XIII. In vivo consumption of Factor XIII after B. neuwiedi envenomization is ascribed to the action of Factor IIa. At low venom concentrations clotting is initiated by activation of prothrombin by the venom either directly or via Factor X activation. Treatment with heparin might be beneficial in coagulopathy secondary to snake bite by reducing circulating active thrombin. The venom contains thrombin-like proteases which cause slow clotting of fibrinogen, and plasmin-like components causing further proteolysis of fibrinogen and fibrin. Antivenom has no effect on the proteolytic action of the snake venom. The in vivo effects of antivenom are presumably caused by acceleration of the elimination of venom components from the circulation. Intravenous administration of antivenom caused normalization of blood coagulation parameters within 48 h.
AuthorsC E Dempfle, R Kohl, J Harenberg, W Kirschstein, D Schlauch, D L Heene
JournalBlut (Blut) Vol. 61 Issue 6 Pg. 369-74 (Dec 1990) ISSN: 0006-5242 [Print] GERMANY
PMID2291986 (Publication Type: Case Reports, Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Antivenins
  • Blood Coagulation Factors
  • Crotalid Venoms
  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products
  • Antithrombin III
  • Prothrombin
  • Factor X
  • Fibrinogen
  • Factor XIII
  • Adult
  • Antithrombin III (metabolism)
  • Antivenins (therapeutic use)
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders (blood, etiology)
  • Blood Coagulation Factors (metabolism)
  • Crotalid Venoms (pharmacology, poisoning)
  • Factor X (metabolism)
  • Factor XIII (metabolism)
  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products (metabolism)
  • Fibrinogen (metabolism)
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Prothrombin (metabolism)
  • Snake Bites (complications, therapy)

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