A Case of Sulfhemoglobinemia Secondary to a Urinary Tract Infection

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2020 Nov;42(8):e765-e767. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000001591.


Sulfhemoglobinemia (SulfHb) is a rare dyshemoglobinemia that can present with cyanosis in the absence of respiratory distress. It has been reported secondary to drug ingestion and chronic constipation. We present a case of SulfHb in an adolescent female with spina bifida and neurogenic bladder in the setting of an Escherichia coli urinary tract infection. An arterial blood gas differentiated a dyshemoglobinemia from other causes of hypoxemia. The resolution was achieved with antibiotics and red cell transfusion. Here we review the pathophysiology of SulfHb and contribute a unique case report to the limited body of literature on this topic.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / complications*
  • Escherichia coli Infections / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli Infections / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Spinal Dysraphism / complications*
  • Spinal Dysraphism / microbiology
  • Spinal Dysraphism / pathology
  • Sulfhemoglobinemia / drug therapy
  • Sulfhemoglobinemia / etiology*
  • Sulfhemoglobinemia / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder, Neurogenic / complications*
  • Urinary Bladder, Neurogenic / microbiology
  • Urinary Bladder, Neurogenic / pathology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / complications*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / pathology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents