Sulfhemoglobinemia – All You Need To Know

Sulfhemoglobinemia is a rare medical condition which occurs due to excess sulfhemoglobin (SulfHb) in the blood .

Sulfhemoglobinemia  is a rare condition in which the pigment is a greenish derivative of hemoglobin, with an absorption peak at 620 nm, but can’t be converted back to normal, functional hemoglobin.

The sulfhemoglobinemia is a rare condition in which the sulfur atom is incorporat into hemoglobin molecule. In this case, the blood is  incapable of carrying oxygen due to the combination of sulfide ions and ferric ions in the blood.

This disease is occurs due to some special drugs or chemicals, excess environmental pollution, acute exposure to H2S gas associated with industrial waste effluent e.t.c.

Its symptoms including cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes), foul urine and breath, tremor of the upper and lower extremities,  even though a blood count test may not show any abnormalities in the blood.

This disease can lead to end organ damage and death when high level of sulfhemoglobin ( approx 60% ) levels are reach. In order to be clinically detectable the sulfhemoglobin concentration should be more than 5 g/L (approximately 80 μM). While normal concentrations are below 0.37 g/L (approximately 5.8 μM)

Causes :   

This disease is usually drug induced.

  • Taking medications that contain drugs.
  • Acute exposure to H2S gas associated with industrial waste effluent.
  • Occupational exposure to H2S gas.
  • Excess environmental pollution .

Symptoms :  

  • Chocolate brown arterial blood
  • Livid discoloration of the skin and lips
  • Fatigue
  • Foul urine and breath
  • Chest pain and tightness
  • Dizziness
  • Bluish stain on finger tips
  • Tremor of the upper and lower extremities

Diagnosis & Treatment :

General Advice :
  1. Make distance from allergic substances like pollen or dust.
  2. Avoid cigarette smokes.
  3. Avoid the area of excess environmental pollution .
  4. Take rest.
  5. A healthy and nutritious food diet helps to provides immune to body to fight from external agents.
Medical Advice :
  1. This condition generally resolves itself with RBC ( Red Blood Cell ).
  2. In extreme cases, blood transfusions can be necessary.
  3. External oxygen supply.
  4. Suspected chemical agent suspension.
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