Methemoglobinemia

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Target Organ

Blood

  • acute poisoning
  • metabolite phenylhydroxylamine leads to formation of methemoglobin
  • peak levels 1-2h following ingestion
  • levels:
    1. 10-15% --> cyanosis
    2. 25-30% --> headaches, weakness, maliase
    3. > 60-70% --> coma, death

Exposures

  • aniline
  • aromatic amines
  • aliphatic nitrates & nitrites
  • inorganic nitrites
  • chlorates

Treatment

  • methylene blue (reducing agent), but excessive Tx leads to increased methemoglobinemia