Ciguatera fish poisoning following travel to the tropics.Z Gastroenterol. 1997 May; 35(5):327-30.ZG
A 40-year-old man-as well as 15 more participants of the same meal-suddenly experienced vomiting and watery diarrhea four hours after having eaten a meal of grouper in the Dominican Republic. Symptoms persisted for four hours and were followed by a generalized pruritus and paresthesias of the lips, tongue, palms, and soles of the feet. Physical examination was normal with the exception of a pulse of 45 beats per minute, a blood pressure of 80/50 mmHg, and paradoxical temperature perception. Laboratory values were regular except for the erythrocyte sedimentation rate of 40 mm per hour. 24-hour Holter electrocardiogram showed a normal sinus rhythm with impaired heart rate variability (37-100 beats per minute). Due to the typical history and the clinical findings, ciguatera toxin ingestion was diagnosed. Pruritus decreased slightly with symptomatic therapy, but it took 16 weeks for all symptoms to resolve. Ciguatera fish poisoning is rare in temperate countries. Symptoms of this neurotoxic disease are gastrointestinal, neurologic, and cardiovascular manifestations with paresthesias, paradoxical sensor disturbances, and muscular weakness as well as bradycardia and hypotension. With travel to and from the tropics and increasing imports of tropical fish ciguatera will be of growing importance even in nontropical areas.