What are physical findings characteristic of methemoglobinemia?

Updated: Dec 09, 2018
  • Author: Mary Denshaw-Burke, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Physical findings may include the following:

  • Discoloration of the skin and blood (the most striking physical finding)
  • Cyanosis – This occurs in the presence of 1.5 g/dL of methemoglobin (as compared with 5 g/dL of deoxygenated hemoglobin)
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Dysrhythmia (eg, bradyarrhythmia or ventricular dysrhythmia)
  • Acidosis
  • Cardiac or neurologic ischemia
  • Pallor of the skin or conjunctiva (suggestive of anemia and possible hemolysis)
  • Skeletal abnormalities and mental retardation

See Clinical Presentation for more detail.

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