Abstract Plants of the genus Asclepias are widely distributed, mainly in the tropics and subtropics. They can be responsible for the poisoning of livestock, and their latex may cause skin irritation.1Asclepias curassavica (commonly called blood flower, silkweed, or milkweed) is a shrub that occasionally is available at horticultural centers. It grows to a height of up to 1.5 m and is used in gardens for decorative purposes (Figure 1, left). To our knowledge, no ocular effects due to the handling of this plant have been reported until now. Report of a Case. A 60-year-old male patient had hazy vision in the left eye after working in his garden the previous day. His hands had come in contact with the white, milky latex of A curassavica (Figure 1, right), and he had rubbed his left eye immediately afterward. On examination, about 18 hours after the incident, the left eye had References 1. Joubert JPJ. Cardiac glycosides . In: Cheeke PR, ed. Toxicants of Plant Origin . Boca Raton, Fla: CRC Press; 1989;2:61-96. 2. Smith JL, Mickatavage RC. The ocular effects of topical digitalis . Am J Ophthalmol . 1963;56:889-894. 3. Hiett JA. Inhibitors of aqueous formation . In: Bartlett JD, Jaanus SD, eds. Ocular Pharmacol . Stoneham, Mass: Butterworth Publishers; 1989:245-266.
Archives of Ophthalmology – American Medical Association
Published: Aug 1, 1995