Severe hemolysis and methemoglobinemia following fava beans ingestion in glucose-6-phosphatase dehydrogenase deficiency-case report and literature review

M. Schuurman, D. van Waardenburg, J.D. Costa, H. Niemarkt, P. Leroy*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    35 Citations (Web of Science)


    INTRODUCTION: Reduced concentrations of glucose-6-phospate dehydrogenase (G6PD) render erythrocytes susceptible to hemolysis under conditions of oxidative stress. In favism, the ingestion of fava beans induces an oxidative stress to erythrocytes, leading to acute hemolysis. DISCUSSION: The simultaneous occurrence of methemoglobinemia has been reported only scarcely, despite the fact that both phenomena are the consequence of a common pathophysiologic mechanism. The presence of methemoglobinemia has important diagnostic and therapeutic consequences. We report a previously healthy boy who presented with combined severe hemolytic anemia and cyanosis due to methemoglobinemia, following the ingestion of fava beans. His condition was complicated by the development of transient acute renal failure. A G6PD-deficiency was diagnosed. We review the literature on the combination of acute hemolysis and methemoglobinemia in favism. Pathophysiologic, diagnostic, and therapeutic aspects of this disorder are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)779-782
    JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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