What is the pathophysiology of scorpion envenomation?

Updated: Nov 09, 2018
  • Author: David Cheng, MD; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

The venom glands are located on the tail lateral to the tip of the stinger and are composed of 2 types of tall columnar cells. One type produces the toxins, while the other produces mucus. The potency of the venom varies with the species, with some producing only a mild flu and others producing death within an hour. In addition, there is species variability in venom volume, flow rate, and duration. [4] Generally, the venom is distributed rapidly into the tissue if it is deposited into a venous structure. Venom deposited via the intravenous route can cause symptoms only 4-7 minutes after the injection, with a peak tissue concentration in 30 minutes and an overall toxin elimination half-life of 4.2-13.4 hours through the urine. The more rapidly the venom enters the bloodstream, the higher the venom concentration in the blood and the more rapid the onset of systemic symptoms.


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