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Skin-nontumor / Clinical Dermatology


Brown recluse spider

Reviewer: Mowafak Hamodat, MB.CH.B, MSc., FRCPC, Eastern Health, St. Johns, Canada (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 11 July 2011, last major update July 2011
Copyright: (c) 2002-2011, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Bite causes extensive necrosis, hemorrhage, blistering and ulceration (Wikipedia)
● A chronic pyodermal gangrenosum-like reaction has also been reported


● Also called loxoscelism (genus of spider is Loxosceles), necrotizing arachnidism

Clinical features

● Diagnosis can be made by swabbing the lesion and using a specific enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) to detect the venom

Location of brown recluse spider in US


● Controversial (Ohio State University Fact Sheet)

Clinical images

Brown recluse spider and US quarter

Brown recluse spider bites

Micro description

● Varies from neutrophilic vasculitis with hemorrhage to arterial wall necrosis to eschar covered ulceration and subcutaneous necrosis
● Usually eosinophils in the inflammatory infiltrate

End of Skin-nontumor / Clinical Dermatology > Infestations > Brown recluse spider

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