Monday, October 1, 2012


A patient is brought into the emergency department with tonic-clonic seizures. A friend says, "We found some wild vegetables...we thought it was parsley or turnip or carrots or something." She brings in the plant shown above. "He ate a little," she says, "and before he started seizing, he had nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Then he started acting a little confused. When I touched him, he was drenched in sweat." Vital signs show bradycardia and hypotension. Despite initial antiepileptic therapy, he remains in status epilepticus; these seizures are fairly intractable.

Challenge: What is this poisonous plant which acts by GABA antagonism?

Image is in the public domain.


webhillizzy said...


Craig Chen said...

that's right...hemlock or water hemlock

This is water hemlock which contains cicutoxin.

Sources: UpToDate; Wikipedia.