II. Background

  1. Araceae family of plants
  2. Genera include Alocasia, Arisaema, Caladium, Colocasia, Dieffenbachia, and Philodendron
  3. Broad firm and shiny leaves
  4. Examples
    1. Mother-In-Law's Tongue (Dracaena trifasciata)
    2. Elephant Ears (genera Colocasia, Alocasia, and Xanthosoma)

III. Mechanism

  1. Plant is coated in sharp, lancinating Calcium oxalate crystals (raphides)
  2. When the plant is bitten (most often by a child), the crystals lance the mucosa causing localized symptoms

IV. Symptoms

  1. Pain and swelling of mucosa on biting leaf

V. Signs

  1. Crying due to pain
  2. Drooling
  3. Anterior oropharyngeal swelling (esp. lips, Tongue)
  4. Tongue Pain may interfere with speaking

VI. Differential Diagnosis

  1. See Plant Toxicity
  2. Anaphylaxis
  3. Angioedema

VII. Management

  1. Airway Management as needed
    1. Case reports of posterior oropharyngeal involvement and need for Endotracheal Intubation
  2. Typically self limited and resolves in 20-30 minutes
  3. Treated symptomatically
    1. Cold milk
    2. Popsicles

VIII. References

  1. Claudius, Behar and Nordt in Herbert (2020) EM:Rap 20(9): 5-7

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Related Studies

Ontology: Araceae (C0331458)

Definition (MSH) A plant family of the order Arales, subclass Arecidae, class Liliopsida (monocot). Many members contain OXALIC ACID and calcium oxalate (OXALATES).
Concepts Plant (T002)
MSH D029064
SnomedCT 107629004
English Araceae, Family araceae - arum (organism), Family Araceae (organism), Family Araceae, Family araceae - arum, Family Araceae - arum, arum family, Arum family
Spanish familia araceae - aro, familia Araceae (organismo), familia Araceae, yaro, familia araceae - aro (organismo), jaro, Araceae
Swedish Araceae
Czech árónovité, Araceae
Finnish Araceae
Japanese ザゼンソウ属, ダルマソウ, デンシンラン, ホウライショウ属, 座禅草, ボタンウキクサ, サトイモ科, ザゼンソウ, モンステラ
Polish Araceae
Norwegian Myrkonglefamilien, Araceae
Italian Aracee, Araceae
Portuguese Flor-D'Água, Aráceas, Araceae
French Araceae, Aracées
German Araceae, Aronstabgewächse
Dutch Araceae