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
Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Palm Beach Cancer Institute, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network; Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.