Silver nitrate ingestion: report of a case with an uneventful course and review of the literature

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Carlos G. Teran *
Sunitha Sura
Peminda Cabandugama
Casey Berson
(*) Corresponding Author:
Carlos G. Teran | carlos.teran@woodhullhc.nychhc.org

Abstract

Silver nitrate is commonly recognized for the toxic effects followed by the direct contact with the skin and mucosa known as argyria, but there is surprisingly little information about the adverse effects of silver nitrate after ingestion. Since only a few cases were reported in the literature, the aim of this case is to enrich the little experience existent about the possible effects of silver nitrate ingestion. We describe the case of a 15-year-old female who intentionally ingested 15cc of silver nitrate solution in a suicidal attempt. The clinical picture included an excruciating burning sensation in her throat and nostrils followed by vomiting and poor oral intake. The presence of a whitish membrane on the oral and buccal mucosa without bleeding or erosions was the only remarkable finding at physical examination. Unlike the rest of the cases described in the literature the clinical and endoscopic follow up of the patient was benign and without sequela or signs of oesophageal damage. Even though very uncommon, it is very important for physicians to keep in mind the possible toxic effects and appropriate management of silver nitrate ingestion. The outcome is not always devastating as reported, and a good early approach and follow up is important in the anticipation of sequela.

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