Volume 41, Issue 1 (January 1996)
Fatal Methemoglobinemia Caused by Liniment Solutions Containing Sodium Nitrite
We describe a case of fatal methemoglobinemia (MetHb-emia) resulting from application of liniment solution containing large quantities of sodium nitrite. As a remedial treatment of atopic dermatitis, the liniment solution was applied all over the boy's body. Autopsy findings showed no significant macroscopic or microscopic findings except blood tinted chocolate brown color and chronic atopic dermatitis over the whole surface of the body. Quantitation of the methemoglobin (MetHb) in the blood was performed using spectrophotometer; MetHb concentration of the blood was 76%. Ion chromatographic determination revealed a nitrite concentration of 1 mg/L in the serum. Such a liniment solution is not authorized by the Ministry of Public Welfare.