Recluse spider venom destroys cartilage in woman's ear

11/19/2013 |

A 22-year-old woman returned home to the Netherlands with an unwanted souvenir from her trip to Italy: a bite from a recluse spider that destroyed cartilage in her ear. Plastic surgeon Marieke van Wijk, who reconstructed the woman's ear using autologous rib cartilage, reports the case in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery. Venom from recluse spiders is known to destroy skin and fat, but doctors had not previously known the venom could also damage cartilage.

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