What causes methemoglobinemia?

Updated: Dec 09, 2018
  • Author: Mary Denshaw-Burke, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Methemoglobinemia occurs when red blood cells (RBCs) contain methemoglobin at levels higher than 1%. This may be from congenital causes, increased synthesis, or decreased clearance. Increased levels may also result from exposure to toxins that acutely affect redox reactions, increasing methemoglobin levels.


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