Hemodynamic changes provoked with intravascular injection of the Echis carinatus venom in rats

Document Type: Original Articles


1 Department of Pharmacology,Bushehr University of Medical Sciences,Bushehr,Iran

2 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of Aquatic Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shahid Beheshti University Tehran, IR

4 Department of Pathology,Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, IR

5 College of Veterinary Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, KR

6 Department of Human Vaccine and Serum, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension ,Organization, Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, Karaj, Iran

7 School of Medicine, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, Iran

8 Department of Pharmacology Bushehr University of Medical Sciences,Bushehr,Iran


Echis carinatus is known for its hematological and nephrotoxic properties in the envenomed patients. Based on the limited data upon the cardiovascular changes with this dangerous venomous snake in Iran, the objective of the current study was to evaluate the induced hemodynamic manifestations in rats.Venom (120 µg/kg) was administered intravenously within one minute via the left femoral vein and the continuous recording of the hemodynamic parameters was performed by means of a pressure transducer (MLT844, ADInstruments, Australia). It caused a prominent hypotension leading to the death in few minutes after a transient up rise in the blood pressure. Meanwhile, it induced a decrease in the heart and the pulmonary rate while it had no arrhythmogenic properties. Additionally, pre-treatment with the pepsin derived Iranian polyvalent antivenom (30µl/Kg) neutralized the hemodynamic responses totally while this remedy had no effect when instilled two minutes after venom injection. Heparin (300 IU/kg) and epinephrine (1.5µg/kg) prevented the dramatic hypotension when used 10 minutes before venom instillation while atropine (1 mg/kg), dexamethasone (1 mg/kg) and ketorolac (10mg/ml) had no effects and all treated rats were killed post injection. Histologically, the lung was the most vulnerable organ with mononuclear infiltration, micro cystic formation and significant capillary congestion. There were prominent renal pathological deteriorations including mesangial cell infiltration and diffuse bleeding leading to the acute tubular necrosis. Modest portal inflammation and vascular congestion were observed in the hepatic tissue of the envenomed rats. The crude venom of Iranian Echis carinatus causes hypotension leading to death, bradycardia and decrease in pulmonary rate without significant histological changes in the heart.