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Acute kidney failure following severe viper envenomation: clinical, biological and ultrasonographic aspects

Blaise Adelin Tchaou1, Kofi-Mensa Savi de Tové2, Charles Frédéric Tchégnonsi N’Vènonfon1, Patrick Kouomboua Mfin1, Abdou-Rahman Aguemon1, Martin Chobli1, Jean-Philippe Chippaux3,4 [ + show more ]

J Venom Anim Toxins incl Trop Dis, 2020, 26:e20200059
Received: 29 April 2020 | Accepted: 04 November 2020 | Published online: 07 December 2020


Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequent complication of snakebite envenomation, which is still little known in sub-Saharan Africa. This study aims to describe the clinical, biological and ultrasonographic aspects of AKI following severe snakebite envenomation managed in the intensive care unit. Method: A prospective observational survey was performed in Benin over a period of 18 months. All patients suffering severe snakebite envenomation (SBE) were included. The diagnosis of AKI was made using the KDIGO criteria. Kidney ultrasound exam was performed in all patients to assess internal bleeding and morphological and structural abnormalities of the kidneys. Results: Fifty-one cases of severe SBE were included. All patients presented inflammatory syndrome and showed abnormal WBCT whereas bleeding was found in 46 of them (90%). The median time to hospital presentation was three days. The majority of patients were male (M/F sex ratio = 1.55) and the median age was 26. Sixteen patients (31%) showed AKI according to the KDIGO criteria. Severe AKI (KDIGO stage 2 and 3) was observed in three patients, including one stage 2 and two stage 3. Kidney ultrasound revealed three cases of kidney capsular hematoma (6%), two cases of kidney hypertrophy (3%), three cases of kidney injury (4%), two stage 1 KDIGO and one stage 2 KDIGO. Only one patient benefited from hemodialysis. All patients showing AKI recovered without sequels. The median duration of hospital stays was four days. Seven patients died (14%) including four among the 16 AKI patients. Antivenom has been administered to 41 patients (80%). The comparison between patients without and with AKI did not show any significant difference except gender (p = 10-2). Conclusion: AKI is a common complication of severe snakebite envenomation. Resulting from inflammatory and hemorrhagic disorders, AKI may prove to be a short-term life-threatening factor.


Keywords Envenomation; Snakebite; Antivenom; Acute kidney injury; KDIGO; Subcapsular hematoma; Hemorrhagic syndrome; Benin.

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