Nicholas C. Bethlenfalvay, M.D. (Member)
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The cytologic method to demonstrate carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) in intact erythrocytes in blood smears as a screening procedure in carbon monoxide poisoning was evaluated. This method is based on the observation that nitrite does not oxidize carboxyhemoglobin to methemoglobin and that the peroxidative capacity of methemoglobin is blocked by cyanide whereas that of carboxyhemoglobin is not. In a milieu of acid, ethanol, and hydrogen peroxide, RBC's will retain their hemoglobin if it was present as carboxyhemoglobin. Oxyhemoglobin, that is, hemoglobin not liganded with carbon monoxide, will be oxidized to methemoglobin by nitrite and thus will be eluted from the RBC's. In
Bethlenfalvay NC. Cytologic Demonstration of Carboxyhemoglobin in Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: A Laboratory Screening Method.. Ann Intern Med. ;74:826. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-74-5-826_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1971;74(5):826.
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