Author(s): Hogan CJ, Barbaro KC, Winkel K
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Loxosceles spiders have a worldwide distribution and are considered one of the most medically important groups of spiders. Envenomation (loxoscelism) can result in dermonecrosis and, less commonly, a systemic illness that can be fatal. The mechanism of venom action is multifactorial and incompletely understood. The characteristic dermonecrotic lesion results from the direct effects of the venom on the cellular and basal membrane components, as well as the extracellular matrix. The initial interaction between the venom and tissues causes complement activation, migration of polymorphic neutrophils, liberation of proteolytic enzymes, cytokine and chemokine release, platelet aggregation, and blood flow alterations that result in edema and ischemia, with development of necrosis. There is no definitive treatment for loxoscelism. However, animal model studies suggest the potential value of specific antivenom to decrease lesion size and limit systemic illness even when such administration is delayed.
This article was published in Ann Emerg Med
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports