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Methemoglobinemia - acquired

Definition

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

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

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

References

Steinberg MH. Sickle cell disease and associated hemoglobinopathies. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 167.


Review Date: 3/28/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and James R. Mason, MD, Oncologist, Director, Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program and Stem Cell Processing Lab, Scripps Clinic, Torrey Pines, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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