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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 10(3); 1999 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 1999;10(3): 447-455.
Clinical Analysis of Puffer Fish Poisoning
Seok Keun Ahn, Yong Su Lim, Jae Kwang Kim, Soon Sik Min, Eell Ryoo, Hyuk Jun Yang, Cheol Wan Park, Keun Lee
BACKGROUND: Puffer fish can be the source of lethal flood poisoning in humans. Tetrodotoxin(TTX) poisonings are not infrequency seen in Korea, but there are few clinical reports. So we reviewed the patients of TTX poisoning and analyzed the clinical characteristics of patients.
A retrospective study was performed of 40 patients who visited Chung Ang Gil Hospital from Jan. 1, 1995 to May. 31, 1998 with a diagnosis of TTX poisoning by a review of patients' medical records and telephone inquiries, The diagnosis of TTX poisoning was made by causal links between consumption of puffer fish and the development of typical symptoms of tetrodotoxication. The clinical severity of the patients in this study was classified according to the classification of Fukuda.
Mean age of the patients was 40 years. The highest incidence was in the 4th decade in 21 patients(52.5%). The ratio of male to female was 3.44:1, Seasonal distribution excluding cases in 1998 was 12 patients in spring, 6 in summer, 5 in autumn and 12 in winter. The mean interval between consumption and symptom onset was 137 minutes. Common initial symptoms were circumoral numbness(32 patients) and paresthesia of extremities(24 patients). Various symptoms were developed after ingestion of puffer flesh such as neuromuscular(39 patients), cardiovascular/pulmonary (23 patients) and gastrointestinal (16 patients) system. Mean recovery time from the onset of symptom was 22.00 hours. All were treated with symptomatic and supportive measures and recovered completely without sequelae. In 2 cases ventilatory supports were applied for 18.5 hours and 31.5 hours respectively.
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