The presence of methemoglobin in the blood, resulting in cyanosis. A small amount of methemoglobin is present in the blood normally, but injury or toxic agents convert a larger proportion of hemoglobin into methemoglobin, which does not function reversibly as an oxygen carrier. Methemoglobinemia may be due to a defect in the enzyme NADH methemoglobin reductase (an autosomal recessive trait) or to an abnormality in hemoglobin M (an autosomal dominant trait). (Dorland, 27th ed)

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