Bothrops snakebites in the Amazon: recovery from hemostatic disorders after Brazilian antivenom therapy

Introduction: Bothrops atrox snakebites are a major public health problem in the Amazon region and also cause hemostatic disorders. In this study, we assessed the recovery from hemostatic disorders in Bothrops snakebite patients after being given antivenom therapy. Methods: This is a prospective study of Bothrops snakebite patients (n=100) treated at the Fundação de Medicina Tropical Dr. Heitor Vieira Dourado, Manaus, Brazilian Amazon, between January 2016 and December 2017. Blood samples were taken for the measurement of venom concentrations, platelets, clotting time and factors of patients on admission, 12, 24 and 48h after antivenom therapy, and taken again on discharge. The presence of systemic bleeding was recorded during the follow-up. Results: On admission, systemic bleeding was observed in 14% of the patients. Thrombocytopenia was noted in 10% of the patients. A total of 54% of the patients presented unclottable blood with low levels of fibrinogen and alpha 2-antiplasmin, and high levels of fibrin/fibrinogen degradation product (FDP) and D-dimers. Unclottable blood and systemic bleeding were overcome in most patients 12h after the antivenom therapy. Three patients developed systemic bleeding 48h after antivenom therapy. Levels of fibrinogen and alpha 2-antiplasmin, FDP and D-dimer returned to normal around 48h after the treatment or on discharge. The frequency of thrombocytopenia with high mean platelet volume increased in the first 24h after antivenom therapy, and decreased on discharge. Bothrops venom levels in patients decreased 12h after antivenom therapy and were not correlated with coagulation and fibrinolytic parameters. There were no deaths. Conclusion: Laboratorial parameters of coagulopathy returned to normal values within 48h after the antivenom therapy until discharge. A few patients still presented bleeding signs within 48h after beginning antivenom therapy. However, the Brazilian antivenom was able to overcome the hemostatic disorders in these cases of envenomation.
Keywords
Bothrops atrox;  coagulopathy;  systemic bleeding;  thrombocytopenia;  antivenom therapy

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Oliveira SS, Alves EC, Santos AS, Nascimento EF, Pereira JPT, Silva IM, et al. Bothrops snakebites in the Amazon: recovery from hemostatic disorders after Brazilian antivenom therapy. Clin. Toxicol.. 2020 Jul;58(4):266-274. doi:10.1080/15563650.2019.1634273.
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