Case Report: Mushroom Poison Gives Off Mixed Messages

Forty-two hours after ingesting an unknown mushroom, a 56-year-old man was admitted to a Turkish emergency department (1). Cardiac markers troponin I, creatine kinase (CK), CK-MB isoenzyme, and myoglobin were all elevated (1). The testing detected nothing less than myocardial infarction (2). This diagnosis, however, was not correct.

The clinicians noted in their report that despite the potentially confusing cardiac markers, the patient was diagnosed with hepatic and renal falure (1). This is because in cases of mushroom poisoning, “amatoxins” bind with “actin filaments within myocardiocytes or renal cells and/or its effects as circulating antitropin antibodies” causing the cardiac markers to become elevated (1).

The patient was treated with fluids, activated charcoal, antibiotics and silibinin (an active constituent of milk thistle) and improvement followed (1).

Reference List

1. Unverir P, Soner BC, Dedeoglu E, Karcioglu O, Boztok K, Tuncok Y. Renal and hepatic injury with elevated cardiac enzymes in Amanita phalloides poisoning: a case report. Hum Exp Toxicol 2007;26:757-61.
2. Gaw A, Murphy MJ, Cowan RA, O’Reilly DStJ, Stewart MJ, Shepherd J. Clinical Biochemistry: An Illustrated Colour Text. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2008.

Published by David Despain, MS, CFS

David is a science and health writer living on Long Island, New York. He's written for a variety of publications including Scientific American, Outside Online, the American Society for Nutrition's (ASN) Nutrition Notes Daily, and Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) Food Technology magazine and Live! blog. He's also covered new findings reported at scientific meetings including Experimental Biology, AAAS, AOCS, CASW, Sigma Xi, IFT, and others on his personal blog "Evolving Health." David is also an active member of organizations including the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Society for Nutrition, the Institute of Food Technologists, and the National Audubon Society. David has a master's degree in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, and a bachelor's degree in English from University of Illinois at Springfield. He also earned his Certified Food Scientist credential from the Institute of Food Technologists.

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