Snake bite - cytotoxic effects of snake venom: a rare clinical image

Lalrintluangi Royte, Achita Sawarkar

PAMJ. 2023; 44:61. Published 01 Feb 2023 | doi:10.11604/pamj.2023.44.61.37759

Venoms of cobras contain high abundances of cytotoxins, which contribute to tissue necrosis in cobra envenomation. Cyto refers to cells, and cytotoxicity broadly describes a toxic effect on cell function. Cytotoxic activity can lead to edema (fluid retention), severe blistering, apoptosis (cell death), and necrosis. As the name suggests, cytotoxic venom kills cells. This venom is not as deadly as hemotoxic or neurotoxic venom. However, secondary injuries such as loss of limb function and other disabilities often result from cytotoxic venom. A 38-year-old male was brought to out-patient department with a complain of necrotic tissue on the right side of the dorsal hand and wrist which results from untreated snake bite roughly for about one week. Physical examination was performed by the physician which shows severe local tissue damage on the wrist and dorsal part of the right hand. Necessary treatments were given and the patient was referred to medicine department for further management.
Corresponding author
Lalrintluangi Royte, Department of Community Health Nursing, Smt. Radhikabai Meghe Memorial College of Nursing, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha, Maharashtra, India (

The Pan African Medical Journal (ISSN: 1937-8688) is a subsidiary of the Pan African Medical Journal. The contents of this journal is intended exclusively for professionals in the medical, paramedical and public health and other health sectors.

Currently tracked by: DOAJ, AIM, Google Scholar, AJOL, EBSCO, Scopus, Embase, IC, HINARI, Global Health, PubMed Central, PubMed/Medline, ESCI

Physical address: Kenya: 3rd Floor, Park Suite Building, Parkland Road, Nairobi. PoBox 38583-00100, tel: +254 (0)20-520-4356 | Cameroon: Immeuble TechnoPark Essos, Yaounde, PoBox: 10020 Yaounde, tel: +237 (0)24-309-5880