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VOLUME 21 , ISSUE 10 ( 2017 ) > List of Articles


Capillary leak syndrome following snakebite envenomation

V Udayabhaskaran, E. T. Thomas, Bhagya Shaji

Keywords : Capillary leak syndrome, envenomation, Russell's viper, Snakebite

Citation Information : Udayabhaskaran V, Thomas ET, Shaji B. Capillary leak syndrome following snakebite envenomation. Indian J Crit Care Med 2017; 21 (10):698-702.

DOI: 10.4103/ijccm.IJCCM_41_17

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-12-2015

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2017; The Author(s).


Capillary leak syndrome is a unique complication that follows Russell's viper envenomation. This syndrome has a very high fatality rate and is characterized by parotid swelling, chemosis, periorbital edema, hypotension, albuminuria, hypoalbuminemia, and hemoconcentration. This syndrome is frequently recognized from the southern parts of India, especially from the state of Kerala. It has been postulated that a vascular apoptosis inducing component of Russell's viper venom that is not neutralized by the commercially available anti-snake venom (ASV) is responsible for this complication as it occurs even after adequate doses of ASV administration in most cases. Acute kidney injury often requiring dialysis is invariably present in all patients because of reduced renal perfusion and ischemic acute tubular necrosis as a result of hypotension. Management mainly involves aggressive fluid resuscitation to maintain adequate tissue perfusion. There are no other proven effective treatment modalities, except a few reports of successful treatment with plasmapheresis. Methylprednisolone pulse therapy, terbutaline, aminophylline, and intravenous immunoglobulin are other treatment modalities tried.

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