This clinical study illustrates the beneficial effect of moccasin snake venom in the treatment of recurrent epistaxis.
In 1930 Peck and Sobotka1 showed that rabbits could be made refractory to the Shwartzman phenomenon (an experimental purpura produced by the intradermal injection of bacterial toxic filtrates followed after a suitable interval by an intravenous injection)2 by previous injections of moccasin snake venom. Since no circulating antibodies could be demonstrated to explain the refractory state produced and since potent antivenin had no effect on the course of the Shwartzman phenomenon, it was concluded that the refractory state was most likely elicited by the action of the venom on the capillaries.
A number of snake venoms were used in these experiments. It was found that bothrops and rattlesnake venom did not produce the refractory state to the Shwartzman phenomenon. The venom of the copperhead, on the other hand, showed
GOLDMAN JL. MOCCASIN SNAKE (ANCISTRODON PISCIVORUS) VENOM THERAPY FOR RECURRENT EPISTAXIS. Arch Otolaryngol. 1936;24(1):59–67. doi:10.1001/archotol.1936.00640050066006
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