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Methemoglobinemia - acquired


Definition:

Methemoglobinemia is a blood disorder in which the body cannot reuse hemoglobin because it is damaged. Hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying molecule found in red blood cells. In some cases of methemoglobinemia, the hemoglobin is unable to carry enough oxygen to body tissues.

Causes:

Acquired methemoglobinemia results from exposure to certain drugs, chemicals, or foods.

The condition may also be passed down through families (inherited).

References:

Gallagher PG. Hemolytic anemias: red cell membrane and metabolic defects In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 164.


Review Date: 2/24/2014
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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