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4 acute mushroom poisonings in 2 weeks
Date:5/20/2012

SAN DIEGO On September 12, 2011, a Springfield, Virginia man arrived at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (MGUH) in the early stages of liver failure. The man had mistakenly eaten poisonous mushrooms, handpicked from his yard. He would be the first of four patients in the course of two weeks to seek treatment at MGUH for mushroom (amanitin) poisoning. Their clinical course, management, and outcomes were presented today at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) in San Diego, the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the field of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

"When the Virginia man arrived at his local emergency department, a clinical diagnosis of mushroom poisoning was made," recalls Jacqueline Laurin, M.D., a transplant hepatologist at the Georgetown Transplant Institute, a part of MGUH and Georgetown University Medical Center.

"He had eaten the mushrooms, gotten very ill and his liver enzymes were very elevated with signs of severe liver dysfunction," Laurin recalls. The man was transferred to MGUH because in some cases, a liver transplant is necessary following amanitin poisoning.

Laurin's team called the local Poison Control Center who in turn, put them in contact with a California physician who is the principal investigator for a study using the IV preparation of milk thistle seeds (silibinin) in the United States for amanitin poisoning. Arrangements were made to have the drug flown and then couriered to the hospital where it arrived within hours. The patient received silibinin that evening.

Because silibinin is not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), physicians would only be able to offer it to one patient under the FDA's "emergency use" one-time exemption. Any future treatment with silibinin would require administration as part of a clinical study with approval of Georgetown University Medical Center's Institutional Review Bo
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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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