Which imaging studies are performed in the evaluation of snakebite?

Updated: Apr 09, 2021
  • Author: Spencer Greene, MD, MS, FACEP, FACMT, FAAEM; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Routine imaging is not required following snake envenomation. Conventional radiographs of the affected extremity should be considered if there is suspicion for a retained fang or if the diagnosis is uncertain. Chest radiography should be performed in patients with systemic toxicity experiencing dyspnea. Rarely, neuroimaging may be necessary to look for intracranial bleeding in patients with altered mental status.

Ultrasonography of the affected extremity should be obtained in patients when the diagnosis is uncertain and there is clinical concern for a deep venous thromboembolism.


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