Acute aflatoxicosis: Case report
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The objective of this presentation is to document the salient clinical findings in a case of aflatoxicosis and to review the literature on the same so as to increase the index of suspicion, enhance early diagnosis and improve management. The case was a 17- year-old schoolboy presenting with vomiting, features of infection and gastrointestinal tract symptoms. Examination revealed a very ill looking pale patient with abdominal distension, tenderness and rectal bleeding and easy bruisability. Investigations showed abnormal liver function tests, pancytopenia and elevated serum levels of aflatoxins. Management consisted of supportive care including antibiotics and antifungal therapy, transfusion of red blood cells and fresh frozen plasma. His recovery was uneventful. The literature on human aflatoxicosis shows that the presentation may be acute, subacute and chronic. The degree of emanating clinical events also conforms to status of the aflatoxicosis. Overall, the features are protean and may masquerade many other forms of toxaemias. In conclusion, the diagnosis of aflatoxicosis takes cognisance of geographical location, past events, staple diet and clinical features to exclude other infections. Also required are high index of suspicion and importantly serum levels of aflatoxin. Treatment strategies involved use of antimicrobials and supporting the damaged multi-organs.