Interleukin-6 levels were measured in the serum of ten children following severe scorpion envenomation. Measurements were taken on arrival, at the emergency room, and 12 and 24 hr after arrival. Interleukin-6 was markedly elevated in the serum of eight out of ten children on arrival. Interleukin-6 levels gradually decreased toward normal values on 12 and 24 hr measurements, but remained above control levels on all measurements. These results imply that signs and symptoms following scorpion envenomation may in part be explained by release of cytokines. Human and experimental animal studies are required in order to verify the assumption that interleukin-6 and other cytokines are involved in the pathogenesis of scorpion envenomation.
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