[Neurotoxic manifestations of black widow spider envenomation in paediatric patients].Neurologia 2016; 31(4):215-22N
Envenomation by black widow spiders manifests clinically with signs of neurotoxicity in paediatric patients.
Identify typical neurological signs and symptoms in paediatric patients of different ages, and describe treatment and outcomes in a paediatric hospital in northwest Mexico.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
We reviewed 70 clinical records of patients hospitalised due to black widow spider bite between 1978 and 2014. We divided the total into 2 groups: Group 1, infants and preschool children; and Group 2, school-age children and adolescents. The demographic variables were age, sex, birthplace, place where envenomation occurred, body part(s) affected, degree of envenomation according to signs and symptoms, treatment, clinical outcome, and statistical differences.
Boys accounted for 61.4% of all cases, and infants younger than one year old made up 14.2%. Most patients (70%) were bitten by the spider at home; the anatomical areas most frequently affected were the legs, neck, thorax, and abdomen. The neurological signs and symptoms displayed by Group 1 were irritability, constant crying, sialorrhoea, nausea, tachycardia, arrhythmias, fatigue when walking, agitation, muscle spasms paraesthesia, tetany, seizures, and nystagmus. Signs in Group 2 included localized pain, headache, sialorrhoea, paraesthesia, profuse sweating, anxiety, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, and fine tremor. The predominant autonomic sign in Group 1 was sialorrhoea (P<.0001) and in Group 2, paraesthesia (P<.0001). Patients who received Fab antivenom treatment displayed better outcomes and shorter hospital stays than those who did not. No deaths were reported.
The neurological signs and symptoms caused by black widow spider bite are predominantly autonomic, and identifying them permits early diagnosis and more effective treatment.