Cnidaria Envenomation Workup
- Author: Spencer Greene, MD, MS, FACEP; Chief Editor: Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM more...
No specific laboratory studies exist for Cnidaria envenomations. In severely symptomatic patients, laboratory tests should be obtained to identify any end-organ damage or to diagnose or exclude conditions that may mimic an envenomation. The following tests are recommended:
- Serum glucose level
- Complete blood cell count
- Arterial blood gases analysis
- Electrolyte levels
- Blood urea nitrogen level
- Creatinine level
- Thyroid stimulating hormone
- Creatinine phosphokinase level
Nematocysts may be identified by microscope from scalpel-blade scrapings of the sting site or sticky-tape sampling. These techniques generally demonstrated good specificity, and both appear to be equal in terms of nematocyst retrieval. However, C barnesi nematocysts have traditionally been difficult to harvest from the sting site.
Radiographs of the affected extremity are unnecessary, but a chest radiograph is recommended in patients with significant cardiopulmonary signs or symptoms.
An electrocardiogram is recommended in severe envenomations to detect any cardiotoxic effects of the envenomation and to identify or exclude other conditions in the differential diagnosis.
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