Calcium oxalate is the main toxic component in clinical presentations of Alocasia macrorrhiza (L) Schott and Endl poisonings

  • Lin T
  • Hung D
  • Hu W
 et al. 
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Alocasia macrorrhiza (L) Schott and Endl is called Hai Yu, Tien Ho, Shan Yu, Kuan Yin Lien, Tu Chiao lien, Lao Hu Yu and Lang Du in Chinese. Its common English name is Giant Elephant's Ear. The toxic effects of A macrorrhiza arise from sapotoxin and include gastroenteritis and paralysis of the nerve centers. From 1985 to 1993 all individuals who called the Poison Control Center asking for information regarding macrorrhiza were included in this retrospective study. A questionnaire filled out by the Poison Control Center staff collected the demographic data of the victim, the reason for consumption, the prescribed part, clinical symptoms and signs of the victim, and medical outcome of poisonings. Among 27 cases of A macrorrhiza poisoning, the age was 1.5 to 68 y with 12 females and 15 males. One had skin contact and had eye contact. In the 25 cases that consumed the plant leaf or tuber either raw or cooked, the primary symptom was In injected sore throat and the secondary symptom was numbness of the oral cavity. Some patients had salivation, dysphonia, abdominal pain, ulcers of the oral cavity, difficulty in swallowing, thoracodynia, chest tightness and swollen lips. We believe the presence of sapotoxin alone is not sufficient to explain the injected swollen and ulcerative lesions. Calcium oxalate is reported distributed in the entire plant and results In inflammation of the oral cavity and mucous membranes just as our patients had.

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  • T J Lin

  • D Z Hung

  • W H Hu

  • D Y Yang

  • T C Wu

  • J F Deng

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