Acute renal failure after a sea anemone sting

Am J Kidney Dis. 2000 Aug;36(2):E10. doi: 10.1053/ajkd.2000.9006.


A 27-year-old man suffering from severe swelling and pain in his right arm was referred to our hospital. He showed signs of acute renal failure (ARF) with severe dermatitis of his right arm. Three days before being admitted, he accidentally touched some kind of marine organism with his right hand while snorkeling in the Sulu Sea around Cebu Island. Within a few minutes, he was experiencing severe pain in his right hand. Then his right hand gradually became swollen. The marine creature responsible for this injury was thought to have been a sea anemone, which is a type of coelenterate. Histologic findings of a renal biopsy indicated that acute tubular necrosis (ATN) had caused ARF in this patient's case. Supportive therapies improved renal function of this patient, and steroid pulse therapy attenuated the severe skin discoloration. The ATN was thought to have been caused by the poison from a sea anemone because there were no other conceivable reasons for the patient's condition. This is the first time that a marine envenomation case has been reported in which the sting of a sea anemone has caused ATN without the failure of any other organs.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology*
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Arm
  • Bites and Stings / complications*
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / etiology
  • Edema / etiology
  • Hand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sea Anemones*