What should be the focus of clinical history for acute methemoglobinemia?

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

Acute methemoglobinemia can be life-threatening and usually is acquired as a consequence of exposure to toxins or drugs. Therefore, obtaining a detailed history of exposure to methemoglobinemia-inducing substances is important. Such history may not always be forthcoming, but it should always be sought actively since long-term or repeated exposure may occur. Consultation with a toxicologist may be necessary, especially with exposure to a new medication, because the list of medications known to cause methemoglobinemia changes constantly.


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