VX Nerve Agent

Epidemology

  • Initially synthesized from organophosphate pesticides in the 1950’s

Exposure

  • Wartime Exposure
  • Terrorist Acts

Physiology

  • VX Nerve Agent can be distributed as either liquid or aerosol -> toxic via both skin contact and inhalation
  • High viscosity (appears viscous, like motor oil) and low volatility -> high persistence in the environment
  • Mechanism
    • Cholinergic with Both Muscarinic Agonism and Nicotinic Antagonism

Clinical

Effects of Muscarinic Agonism

Effects of Nicotinic Antagonism


Treatment

  • Removal of Liquid Agent from Skin and Evacuation of Victim
  • Anti-Cholinergics
    • Atropine: blocks muscarinic Ach receptors
    • Pralidoxime (2-PAM): regenerates bound acetylcholinesterase

References

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