Cardiovascular and Respiratory Effects of Snake Venoms.
Technical rept. Jan 71-Jun 72,
EDGEWOOD ARSENAL ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
Pagination or Media Count:
The physiological effects of venoms representing four families of poisonous snakes Crotalidae, Elapidae, Viperidae, and Hydrophidae were studied in 16 healthy, adult, anesthetized dogs. Blood pressure, heart rate, electrocardiogram, cardiac output, left ventricular work, and total peripheral resistance were measured. Lyophilized venoms were reconstituted in saline, and a dose known to be lethal was injected intravenously. Crotalid, Elapid, and Viper venoms all produced a precipitous fall in arterial blood pressure and a decrease in pulse pressure. Cardiac output fell 50 plus or minus 10, and total peripheral resistance diminished 55 plus or minus 8 during the first 15 minutes following injection. Some recovery was noted with these venoms at from 30 minutes to 2 hours after which time a generalized deterioration occurred which led to death. The primary mechanism of death appeared to be respiratory failure.