Identification of sulfhemoglobinemia after surgical polypectomy

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Sulfhemoglobinemia (SHb) is an uncommon cause of cyanosis that is predominantly drug-induced in adults. We report an unusual case of sodium sulfate-induced sulfhemoglobinemia in a 61-year-old woman after surgical polypectomy. Fractional hemoglobin derivates were assayed by spectrophotometry and high-performance liquid chromatography. The SHb ratio was 8.6% in the first sample and 3.77% a month later measured by spectrophotometry. In the blood hemolysate, a new peak was identified as SHb with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). HPLC showed the presence of 9.37% SHb in the first sample and 4.88% a month later. After removing the suspected toxic agent the cyanosis decreased significantly. The findings underline the importance of routine SHb detection in cyanosis of unknown origin especially in emergency cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-192
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Toxicology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2007



  • Cyanosis
  • High-performance liquid chromatography
  • Sodium sulfate
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Sulfhemoglobinemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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