LSTM Home > LSTM Research > LSTM Online Archive

Neuromuscular Weakness and Paralysis Produced by Snakebite Envenoming: Mechanisms and Proposed Standards for Clinical Assessment

Bickler, Philip E., Abouyannis, Michael ORCID:, Bhalla, Ashish and Lewin, Matthew R. (2023) 'Neuromuscular Weakness and Paralysis Produced by Snakebite Envenoming: Mechanisms and Proposed Standards for Clinical Assessment'. Toxins, Vol 15, Issue 1, e49.

toxins-15-00049-v2.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Respiratory and airway-protective muscle weakness caused by the blockade of neuromuscular transmission is a major cause of early mortality from snakebite envenoming (SBE). Once weakness is manifest, antivenom appears to be of limited effectiveness in improving neuromuscular function. Herein, we review the topic of venom-induced neuromuscular blockade and consider the utility of adopting clinical management methods originally developed for the safe use of neuromuscular blocking agents by anesthesiologists in operating rooms and critical care units. Failure to quantify neuromuscular weakness in SBE is predicted to cause the same significant morbidity that is associated with failure to do so in the context of using a clinical neuromuscular block in surgery and critical care. The quantitative monitoring of a neuromuscular block, and an understanding of its neurophysiological characteristics, enables an objective measurement of weakness that may otherwise be overlooked by traditional clinical examination at the bedside. This is important for the initial assessment and the monitoring of recovery from neurotoxic envenoming. Adopting these methods will also be critical to the conduct of future clinical trials of toxin-inhibiting drugs and antivenoms being tested for the reversal of venom-induced neuromuscular block.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QV Pharmacology > Toxicology > General Toxicology > QV 600 General works
WD Disorders of Systemic, Metabolic or Environmental Origin, etc > Animal Poisons > WD 410 Reptiles
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2023 10:20
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2023 10:20


View details

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item