Have a symptom?
See what questions
a doctor would ask.
Diseases » Methaemoglobinaemia » Wikipedia

Methaemoglobinaemia in Wikipedia

Note:Wikipedia is a user-contributed encyclopedia and may not have been reviewed by professional editors (See full Wikipedia disclaimer)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Methemoglobinemia". (Source - Retrieved 2006-09-07 14:27:18 from


Methemoglobinemia, also known as "met-H", is a usually genetic blood disorder characterized by the presence of a higher than normal level of methemoglobin in the blood.


Congenital methaemoglobinaemia

Due to an enzyme deficiency, the blood of met-H victims has reduced oxygen-carrying capacity. Instead of being red in colour, the arterial blood of met-H victims is brown. This results in the skin of Caucasian sufferers gaining a bluish cast. Hereditary met-H is caused by a recessive gene. If only one parent has this gene offspring will have normal-hued skin, but if both parents carry the gene there is a chance the offspring will have blue-hued skin.

Types include:

Acquired/Toxic methaemoglobinaemia

Acquired methemoglobinemia can be caused by the use of nitrite-containing drugs, such as amyl nitrite. Nitrates do not directly cause methemoglobinemia, however nitrate is readily metabolized to nitrite in infants and, in this case, can cause methemoglobinemia indirectly. Infants under six months of age are particularly susceptible to this effect. The current EPA standard of 10 ppm nitrate-nitrogen for drinking water is specifically designed to protect infants.


Methemoglobinemia is treated with the use of methylene blue, which restores the hemoglobin to its normal oxygen-carrying state.


Symptoms of methemoglobinemia include headache, weakness, dizziness, and can progress to seizures, arrythmia, coma and death.

One visual indicator is a blue tint to the skin.

This medical article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use. Information provided on this site is for informational purposes only; it is not intended as a substitute for advice from your own medical team. The information on this site is not to be used for diagnosing or treating any health concerns you may have - please contact your physician or health care professional for all your medical needs. Please see our Terms of Use.

Home | Symptoms | Diseases | Diagnosis | Videos | Tools | Forum | About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Advertise