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Two Cases of Severe Amanita Muscaria Poisoning Including a Fatality

Published:October 06, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wem.2022.06.002
      Ingestion of Amanita muscaria mushrooms results in transient central nervous system excitation and depression mediated by its components, ibotenic acid and muscimol. The mushroom is distributed worldwide and ingestions occur with some frequency. Although these ingestions have traditionally been considered benign, serious complications can occur. We present 2 cases of serious toxicity, including a fatality. The first case was a 44-y-old man who presented to the emergency department (ED) after cardiopulmonary arrest approximately 10 h after ingesting 4 to 5 dried A muscaria mushroom caps, which he used for their mind-altering effects. Despite successful resuscitation, he remained unresponsive and hypotensive and died 9 days later. The second case was a 75-y-old man who presented to the ED after accidentally consuming one large A muscaria mushroom cap he foraged in Eastern Turkey. The patient initially presented to the ED with hallucinations followed by lethargy, and he was intubated for airway protection. The patient’s condition gradually improved, and he made a full recovery. A muscaria ingestion should not be considered benign as serious outcomes do occur. An understanding of how the main neuroactive chemicals, ibotenic acid and muscimol, affect the brain can help anticipate outcomes. Several high-risk features that portend a more serious course are identified.

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