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Renal function was monitored in 24 patients with systemic envenoming following proven Russell's viper bite. In all patients, blood clotted within 20 min on admission. In 15 cases severe defibrination (systemic envenoming) developed during the next 3-5 d. None of the patients received antivenom before admission but enzyme-refined monospecific antivenom was given to those who developed signs of systemic envenoming. Specific antigen was detected by enzyme immuno-assay in all 21 subjects tested. Nine patients whose renal function remained normal did not develop systemic envenoming, and recovered without any treatment even though venom antigen was detectable in their serum. Ten patients developed mild renal dysfunction and systemic envenoming, but recovered after treatment with antivenom alone. The remaining 5 patients, all of whom were oliguric from admission, developed acute renal failure despite treatment with antivenom, but some recovered after peritoneal dialysis. Serum venom antigen levels were high in the last 2 groups, but there was some overlap. Albuminuria, found only in patients who became systemically envenomed, was associated with high fractional sodium excretion in those who developed acute oliguric renal failure. Albuminuria may appear before a gross clotting defect is detectable. It is an indication for antivenom and spot measurements might prove a useful early predictor of outcome.


Journal article


Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg

Publication Date





404 - 409


Acute Kidney Injury, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Albuminuria, Antigens, Blood Coagulation, Female, Glomerular Filtration Rate, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Myanmar, Oliguria, Snake Bites, Time Factors, Viper Venoms