What is the prognosis of acquired methemoglobinemia?

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

Acquired methemoglobinemia is usually mild but may be severe and rarely fatal, depending on the cause. Mild-to-moderate transient methemoglobinemia may be present but may escape clinical detection; a high index of suspicion must be maintained. [56]

Patients with acquired methemoglobinemia due to toxin exposure can be severely ill when diagnosed. In some case, acquired toxic methemoglobinemia can be life-threatening, particularly when the exposure is intentional or the condition is not recognized. One fatality and 3 near-fatalities were reported in a study of 138 patients. [14] However, acquired toxic methemoglobinemia usually responds to treatment when it is recognized and properly treated.


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