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
Gallagher PG. Hemolytic anemias: red cell membrane and metabolic defects In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 164.