Healthy blue man: congenital methemoglobinemia

B. V. Nagabhushana Rao, S. C. Sinha, S. Modi, S. Sunita


Congenital methemoglobinemia, though often discussed in medical teachings is rarely encountered in clinical practice as the condition is asymptomatic. Here we present such a case and discuss in detail the clinical presentation of both congenital and acquired methemoglobinemia. We also outlined the management of the conditions. One should suspect methemoglobinemia when cyanosis is not being corrected by supplementing oxygen and and when the oxygen saturation is low by pulse oximetry and normal by arterial blood gas analysis. Treatment modalities for congenital methemoglobinemia is of cosmetic purpose, but timely intervention in acquired methemoglobinemia could be lifesaving. Methylene blue, Ascorbic acid and Riboflavin are drugs of choice.


Congenital methemoglobinemia, Cyanosis, Healthy blue man, Methylene blue, Pulse oximeter

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