Content » Vol 71, Issue 4

Morbidity of Brown Recluse spider bites. Clinical picture, treatment and prognosis.

Ingber A, Trattner A, Cleper R, Sandbank M
DOI: 10.2340/0001555571337340


A retrospective review was made of 35 cases of Brown Recluse spider bites treated during a period of 21 years. The most common location of the bite was on the lower limbs, particularly the thigh. The main systemic manifestations were fever, malaise and maculopapular rash, but there were no cases of hemolysis, coagulopathy, or of renal or neurologic involvement. Signs indicating a poor prognosis appeared to be lymphangitis, generalized maculopapular rash and location of the bite on the thigh or abdomen. Most cases were treated effectively by rest, elevation of the affected part of the body, local cleansing, and prophylactic antibiotics. On the basis of this experience it was concluded that only when lesions show a necrotic area measuring 2 to 3 cm should patients be treated with systemic corticosteroids. In most such cases, administration of corticosteroids for 14-21 days proved sufficient to avoid the need for surgery. Only 5 cases required surgical intervention.


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