Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chronic Mad Honey Intoxication Syndrome: A New Form of an Old Disease?

Europace, published online on June 5, 2009

Aims: Although cases of acute mad honey intoxication have been reported earlier, chronic mad honey intoxication (CMHI) syndrome has not been described and we address this issue only in this study.

Methods and results: We prospectively evaluated the history of non-commercial honey intake in all patients referred to our institution for investigation of slow heart rate or atrioventricular (AV) conduction abnormalities. Between April 2008 and December 2008, 173 patients were referred to our institution for assessment of sinus bradycardia and various degrees of AV block and/or permanent pacemaker implantation. All patients were questioned about history of honey intake. Detailed evaluation revealed a history of daily honey intake for a long period of time in five of the patients (2.8%). This non-commercial honey was made by different amateur beekeepers in eastern Back Sea region of Turkey. Discontinuation of honey intake resulted in prompt normalization of conduction and significant symptomatic improvement. None of the patients were admitted to hospital and all were asymptomatic during 3 months follow-up. Holter monitoring for 24-h revealed no abnormality at first and third month.

Conclusions: This is the first report of CMHI. This issue should be suggested during assessment of patients with unexpected conduction abnormalities, because abandonment of honey intake results in prompt symptomatic and electrocardiographic improvement.

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