Case Report: Treating Ichthyotoxin Poisoning Induced by Gar Eggs Ingestion

Hailey Martin, Peter Akpunonu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: A Gar is a primarily freshwater fish that resides in North America. The flesh of a garfish is edible; however, the eggs and any meat surrounding the eggs are highly toxic to humans. The toxicity is induced by the protein ichthyotoxin. Case Report: The studied patient was an 18-year-old male who ingested 2-3 spoons full of gar eggs in their residence place. Each spoon full contained 40-50 eggs. The estimated total amount of consumed eggs equaled 3 teaspoons. Approximately one hour after eating the eggs, the patient began to feel unwell. Upon arrival at the local Children’s Hospital, the patient was experiencing nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating. Conclusion: Patients affected by gar eggs should be treated symptomatically, given there is no antidote or specific treatment for ichthyotoxin. Further research is required on the mechanism that makes ichthyotoxin toxic. Luckily, the presented patient presented no seizures due to the toxin and the care providers could manage the related symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31548
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Toxicology and Forensic Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research did not receive any grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or non-profit sectors. The authors would like to thank the Kentucky Poison Control Center.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. All rights reserved.


  • Fish toxin
  • Gar egg
  • Ichthyotoxin
  • Roe ingestion
  • Toxicology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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