Internal and Emergency Medicine

, Volume 13, Issue 8, pp 1265–1271 | Cite as

Clinical features of Haff disease and myositis after the consumption of boiled brackish water crayfish: a retrospective study of 96 cases at a single centre

  • Fei He
  • Jun Ni
  • Jun-Ai Huang
  • Yao Liu
  • Chao Wu
  • Jun Wang


The present study describes the difference in clinical features between the patients with Haff disease and crayfish-related myositis (CRM) after crayfish consumption. This was a single-centre, retrospective analysis at the Emergency Department of the Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University School of Medicine from July to August of 2016. The baseline information came from the Electronic Medical Record System at the institution. Totally 96 patients were included, of whom 52 patients were confirmed to have Haff disease and 44 patients were CRM. The illness predominately occurs in summer and most of them (55/96) are female. The primary clinical features are myalgia, muscle allodynia and back and body pain. Statistical differences in the baseline CK, CK-MB, myoglobin, and the WBC count exist between the Haff disease and CRM groups (P < 0.05). The serum levels of CK and CK-MB increase in the second (a median time 29.2 ± 7.4 h) or third day (a median time 54.8 ± 9.3 h) of disease course, and then rapidly decreased to normal levels, while the levels of myoglobin peak at the admission (a median time 7.7 ± 6.4 h) and became normal after admission. There were no fatalities or complications during this study. All 96 patients recovered in a week. Of them, 75 were followed-up within 1 month and none had recurrence. The Haff disease and CRM after boiled crayfish consumption reflect a different severity of muscle injury, and reveal similar clinical characteristics and most of the laboratory values. The overall prognosis of both is good.


Haff disease Myositis Crayfish Rhabdomyolysis 



This study was supported by two Grants: Nanjing Medical Science and technique Development Foundation, China (QRX17124), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China (21414380146).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The Authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of human and animal rights

This study was according to the ministry of health "involves people of biomedical research ethics review method (trial) (2007)”, and performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki. In this study, subjects’ rights and interests are fully protected. There is no potential risk to the subjects. The board of ethics committee agreed to the study work as planned.

Informed consent

Patient consent was not required in this study since intervention was not involved and all data were analyzed anonymously.

Supplementary material

11739_2018_1870_MOESM1_ESM.docx (34 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 34 kb)


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Copyright information

© SIMI 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Emergency Medicine, Nanjing Drum Tower HospitalNanjing University Medical SchoolNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Laboratory, Nanjing Drum Tower HospitalNanjing University Medical SchoolNanjingChina
  3. 3.Department of Infectious Disease, Nanjing Drum Tower HospitalNanjing University Medical SchoolNanjingChina

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