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Seung-Hwan Hyun 1 Article
Clinical Analysis of Puffer Fish Poisoning Cases
Seung-Hwan Hyun, Chang-Hwan Sohn, Seung-Mok Ryoo, Bum-Jin Oh, Kyung-Soo Lim
J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol. 2011;9(2):95-100.   Published online December 31, 2011
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Purpose: Ingestion of puffer fish can be poisonous due to the presence of potent neurotoxins such as tetrodotoxin (TTX) found in its tissues. There are few clinical reports related to TTX. We performed this study to evaluate the clinical characteristics of TTX poisoning. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of the 41 patients diagnosed with TTX poisoning who visited the Seoul Asan medical center from July 2004 and December 2010. A review of patients' electronic medical records and patient telephone interviews were conducted. Diagnosis of TTX poisoning was confirmed by observing the casual link between puffer fish consumption and the development of typical TTX intoxication symptoms. Results: The mean age of the patients included in the study was 46.6 years. The highest incidence of intoxication was observed in patients in their 50s (10 patients). Seasonal distribution of intoxication events included 10 in spring, 7 in summer, 10 in fall, and 14 in winter. In most cases, symptoms occurred within 1 hour of ingestion. A wide range of symptoms were associated with puffer fish ingestion affecting multiple body systems including neuromuscular (27 patients), gastrointestinal (19 patients), and cardiopulmonary/vascular (19 patients). All patients were treated with symptomatic and supportive therapy and recovered completely, without sequelae, within 48 hours. In three cases, ventilator support was required. Conclusion: TTX poisoning is not seasonally related, and patients admitted to the emergency room were observed with a wide range of symptoms. Where TTX poisoning is diagnosed, supportive therapy should be performed. Early intubation and ventilation is important, especially is cases of respiratory failure.

JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology