Spider Bite, Black Widow
- Syndromes caused by envenomation by black widow spider bite
- Mechanism of toxicity:
- Females are responsible for human envenomations
- Venom contains potent neurotoxin, α-latrotoxin:
- Causes cation-channel opening presynaptically, resulting in increased neurotransmitter release into synapses and neuromuscular junctions
- Increased neurotransmitter release causes increased neurologic, motor, and autonomic effects
- Morbidity and mortality are dose dependent
- Severity of envenomation depends on:
- Premorbid health of victim:
- HTN or cardiovascular disease increase risk
- Size and age of victim:
- Children (i.e., smaller size for a given dose of venom) are at greater risk of morbidity and mortality
- Number of bites
- Location of bite wounds
- Size and condition of spider
- Premorbid health of victim:
- Rarely fatal
EtiologyBlack widow spider features:
- Glossy black with red markings shaped like an hourglass or a pair of spots on the ventral aspect of the globular abdomen
- Females have 25–50 mm leg spans and 15 mm long bodies
- Found throughout North America, except the far north and Alaska
- Prefer dark sheltered hideaways such as garages, barns, outhouses, woodpiles, and low-lying foliage
- Most bites occur during the warmer months when spiders are defending their webs and egg clutches
There's more to see -- the rest of this topic is available only to subscribers.
Schaider, Jeffrey J., et al., editors. "Spider Bite, Black Widow." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307568/all/Spider_Bite__Black_Widow.
Spider Bite, Black Widow. In: Schaider JJJ, Barkin RMR, Hayden SRS, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307568/all/Spider_Bite__Black_Widow. Accessed May 29, 2023.
Spider Bite, Black Widow. (2016). In Schaider, J. J., Barkin, R. M., Hayden, S. R., Wolfe, R. E., Barkin, A. Z., Shayne, P., & Rosen, P. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult (5th ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307568/all/Spider_Bite__Black_Widow
Spider Bite, Black Widow [Internet]. In: Schaider JJJ, Barkin RMR, Hayden SRS, Wolfe RER, Barkin AZA, Shayne PP, Rosen PP, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2023 May 29]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307568/all/Spider_Bite__Black_Widow.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Spider Bite, Black Widow ID - 307568 ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307568/all/Spider_Bite__Black_Widow PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -