Ciguatera poisoning causes mainly gastrointestinal and neurological effects of variable severity. However, symptoms of peripheral neuropathy with paresthesias and paradoxical disturbance of thermal sensation are the hallmark. Electrophysiological studies are often normal, except in severe cases. We report four people who developed mild ciguatera poisoning after barracuda ingestion. Electrophysiological studies documented normocalcemic latent tetany. These findings are consistent with ciguatoxin's mechanism of toxicity, which involves inactivation of voltage-gated Na(+) channels and eventually increases nerve membrane excitability.
Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.