Emerg Med J 28:208-211 doi:10.1136/emj.2009.078428
  • Original article

Serum IL-6, TNFα levels in snakebite cases occurring in Southern Turkey

  1. Yüksel Gökel
  1. Emergency Department, Faculty of Medicine, Çukurova University, Adana, Turkey
  1. Correspondence to Ayça Açikalin, Çukurova University, Faculty of Medicine, Emergency Department, 01330, Balcali, Adana, Turkey; aycaacikalin{at}
  • Accepted 4 March 2010
  • Published Online First 1 July 2010


Objective The snake species Vipera ammodytes meridionalis and Vipera lebetina obtuse are often seen in Southern Turkey and have venom that causes serious systemic and tissue damage. The aim of our study is to assess the relationship between tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) serum levels, and clinical and laboratory findings in the snakebite patients.

Methods 26 patients who had received snakebites were included in a prospective study. Patients were grouped according to their clinical presentations in order to plan treatment.

Results TNFα serum levels of most patients who went to the emergency room to receive treatment for snakebite were high. This increase was most likely to be related to the clinical severity of the snakebite and the length of time between the snakebite and their arrival at the hospital. In contrast to TNFα, there was no relationship between serum IL-6 levels and clinical and laboratory parameters.

Conclusions Snakebites from Vipera ammodytes meridionalis and Vipera lebetina obtuse lead to increased levels of serum TNFα. However, serum TNFα and IL-6 levels depend on various factors such as the kind of snake, the area the venom was injected into, the amount of venom and the body size of the patients.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of Çukurova University.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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