How does the venom dose affect the clinical manifestations of scorpion envenomation?

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

Most of the symptoms are due to either the release of catecholamines from the adrenal glands (sympathetic nerves) or the release of acetylcholine from postganglionic parasympathetic neurons. One study by Freire-Maia et al (1974) found that the adrenergic signs occur at a low venom dose, while cholinergic signs occur at high venom dose concentrations (ie, >40 mcg/100 g in Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom). [20] Furthermore, the adrenergic phase tended to be more dependent on the venom dose than the cholinergic phase. However, dual manifestations of the adrenergic and cholinergic signs are possible because of varying organ system sensitivities to these neurotransmitters.


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