Is that a jellyfish on your leg or are you just glad to see me? Priapism and Irukandji Syndrome

June 3, 2010, 10:23 pm

Chris Nickson (of Life in the Fast Lane fame) and colleagues have an interesting letter in this month’s Annals of Emergency Medicine (June 2010;55:581) about priapism as an effect of envenomation by the jellyfish C. barnesi (Irukandji syndrome).  They hypothesize that priapism in these cases could be caused by release of nitric oxide in response to sodium-channel activation.  They also suggest that this might explain the paradox of priapism being caused by both catecholamine excess and alpha-blockade.

As the authors mention, other toxic causes of priapism include scorpion stings, lactrodectism, and the bite of the aptly named Brazilian banana spider, also called the Brazilian wandering spider. One might add ciguatera poisoning to that list.

Here’s a clip about the Brazilian wandering spider from Venom Hunter:

One Comment:

  1. precordialthump Says:

    Wow! Great clip – and cheers for the mention mate.