Upper limb ischemia induced by chronic licorice ingestion

J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 2000 Aug;41(4):631-2.


A young woman had an acute embolic episode that affected her right upper limb. An axillo-brachial thromboembolectomy was performed after which distal pulses were recovered. The patient had a long lasting history, longer than ten years, of continuous licorice ingestion. Blood samples showed severe hypokalemia that caused EKG changes. Transesophageal echocardiogram discovered mild mitral valve prolapse. The combination of surgery and potassium supplements was successful in treating this rare and potentially life-threatening disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arm / blood supply*
  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal
  • Embolism / etiology
  • Embolism / surgery
  • Female
  • Glycyrrhiza / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Hypokalemia / complications*
  • Hypokalemia / etiology
  • Ischemia / etiology*
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse / complications
  • Plants, Medicinal*