AbstractBackgroundComplex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) may occur following fractures, surgery or different trauma. Development of CRPS following snake-bite has only been published in three reports (from Turkey, Nepal and Korea), although snake bites occur frequently world-wide. There has been no report from Western Europe. Vipera Berus is a common snake in European countries and the only venomous snake in Norway. We here describe the development of CRPS in a young woman as a consequence of a viper bite (Vipera Berus) in the right arm.MethodsWe performed a clinical investigation (inspection, measurement of skin temperatures, sensory and motor evaluation) of the patient six months following the viper-bite, measurement of thermal thresholds (quantitative sensory testing, QST), measurement of resting sweat output (RSO) and quantitative sudomotor axon reflex (QSART) from both arms.ResultsThe patient fulfilled the Budapest criteria for a CRPS-condition, with continuous pain and symptoms and findings of autonomic dysfunction. In addition, we found elevated thresholds of warmth and cold, evidence of an affection of afferent A-delta and C-fibres as well as an affection of the efferent sympathetic sudomotor C-fibres by QSART. An increased RSO-volume was in inverse relationship to the decreased QSART result.Conclusion and implicationsIt is important to be aware of viper-bite as a possible eliciting event for CRPS for early diagnosis and treatment of a patient. As long-lasting pain and oedema are known complications, it is probable that CRPS after viper-bites previously may have been underdiagnosed. As many patients are unaware of being bit, viper bite should be considered in cases of unexplained sudden pain and swelling of a limb.
Scandinavian Journal of Pain – de Gruyter
Published: Jan 1, 2016
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