[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 1981

Ciguatera Poisoning: Presentation as a Neurologic Disorder

Author Affiliations

From the Infectious Disease Service, Department of Medicine (Drs Chretien and Garagusi), and the Department of Neurology (Dr Fermaglich), Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC.

Arch Neurol. 1981;38(12):783. doi:10.1001/archneur.1981.00510120083017

A traveler who vacationed in the Bahama islands became ill from ciguatera toxin, a poisoning acquired from ingestion of certain fish caught in tropical waters. The mild gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms of this poisoning lasted only a few hours, but the neurologic symptoms persisted for several weeks until medical care was eventually sought far from the area where such poisonings are common.

REPORT OF A CASE  A 23-year-old man complained of severe bilateral pain in the anterior portion of the thighs, and in the calf, on Jan 18, 1980. The pain was described as similar to "muscle cramps after working out or jogging" but more severe. He also described tingling and numbness in his fingertips, which were cold and painful even in a warm room. His gums were affected by similar paresthesias.During a vacation at Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, he had eaten an evening meal of grouper on Jan 8. Seven