Acute Renal Failure Following the Saharan Horned Viper (Cerastes cerastes) Bite

  • D Elkabbaj
  • K Hassani
  • R El jaoudi
Keywords: Acute Renal Failure, Antivenom, DIC, Cerastes Cerastes, Rhabdomyolysis, Snake Bite


Introduction: The Saharan horned viper (Cerastes cerastes) is a common snake in the sandy and rocky regions in the south of Morocco. Although nearly all snakes with medical relevance can induce acute renal failure (ARF), it’s unusual except with bites by some viper species. ARF
has very rarely been reported following Cerastes cerastes bite.
Case Report: A 55-year-old Moroccan man was bitten on his right hand by a Saharan horned viper, Cerastes cerastes. He presented 24 hours later in a state of confusion, agitation and hypotension with marked swelling of his right hand. Investigations revealed evidence of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and rhabdomyolysis. The appropriate antivenom was
not available. Despite adequate hydration, he developed acute renal failure necessitating prolonged hemodialysis. He subsequently improved and was discharged from the hospital after four weeks with normal renal function.
Conclusion: Although uncommon, the bite of Cerastes cerastes can result in ARF due to DIC and rhabdomyolysis. The appropriate antivenom should be made available in areas where this snake is prevalent.

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eISSN: 1858-554X
print ISSN: 1858-554X