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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


methemoglobinemia  listen  (MET-hee-moh-GLOH-bih-NEE-mee-uh)

  A condition in which a higher-than-normal amount of methemoglobin is found in the blood. Methemoglobin is a form of hemoglobin that cannot carry oxygen. In methemoglobinemia, tissues cannot get enough oxygen. Symptoms may include headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, loss of muscle coordination, and blue-colored skin. Methemoglobinemia can be caused by injury or being exposed to certain drugs, chemicals, or foods. It can also be an inherited condition.