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December 1974

Peripheral Ischemia Secondary to Ergotamine Intoxication

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Alton Ochsner Medical Foundation and Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans.

Arch Surg. 1974;109(6):832-834. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01360060098027

Because of its rarity, the diagnosis of peripheral vascular ischemia secondary to ergotamine administration can be easily overlooked with serious irreversible consequences. A patient required treatment for ischemia of the left leg found to be caused by excessive use of an ergotamine tartrate suppository prescribed for migraine headaches. The angiographic characteristics of vessels during ergot intoxication include bilateral and symmetrical arterial spasm, collateralization, and, infrequently, thrombi formation.