Poisoning due to raw Gyromitra esculenta (false morels) west of the Rockies

Anne M Leathem, Thomas J Dorran
CJEM 2007, 9 (2): 127-30
Vomiting with abdominal pain is a common presentation in the emergency department (ED). Without a careful history, unusual causes, such as toxic ingestion, may evade diagnosis. We report a case of an Asian couple who presented to the ED with vomiting and epigastric distress. They were discharged with no definite diagnosis, but on a return ED visit the following day were diagnosed with toxic ingestion of Gyromitra esculenta, commonly known as the western false morel. The patients were admitted and treated with intravenous hydration and pyridoxine. Both patients developed mild hepatotoxicity but went on to fully recover. This case demonstrates that the western false morel may cause significant toxicity and it highlights the importance of obtaining a complete history in patients who present with non-specific gastrointestinal symptoms.

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