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Spider Bite: Brown Recluse Spider Bite (cont.)

Brown Recluse Spider Bite Diagnosis

The doctor will try to make the correct diagnosis. It helps if the patient is able to produce the spider in question. That can often be difficult, because most victims don't even realize they have been bitten before developing symptoms.

  • The doctor will ask about the bite event, time elapsed since the bite, other medical problems, medications, and allergies.
  • In general, laboratory tests are not necessary if the symptoms are localized to the area of the bites. If symptoms are more severe or seem to spread, laboratory studies that may be performed include complete blood count, electrolytes, kidney function studies, blood clotting studies, and urinalysis.
  • Although an immunologic (ELISA based) test for brown recluse spider bite has been developed, it is not commercially available or in routine use, therefore currently no specific lab findings can routinely confirm a brown recluse bite. Therefore, a presumptive diagnosis can occur only after a careful history and examination taking into account the likelihood of a bite depending on the part of the country where the person was bitten. This diagnosis can be confirmed if the spider is available and identified as a brown recluse.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Spider Envenomations: Brown Recluse »

In the United States, reports of severe envenomations by brown spiders began to appear in the late 1800s, and today, in endemic areas, brown spiders continue to be of significant clinical concern.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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