Extreme But Asymptomatic Carboxyhemoglobinemia and Chronic Lung Disease

Robert P Hebbel, John W. Eaton, Harry S. Jacob, Siv Modler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Carboxyhemoglobinemia is a well-known consequence of carbon monoxide exposure from smoking. However, only moderately elevated levels have been reported. We report the case of an asymptomatic man with severe chronic obstructive lung disease and carboxyhemoglobin levels repeatedly in excess of 30% (maximum, 38.0%) due to smoking. The mechanism by which such high levels were attained was primarily a combination of arterial hypoxia and a high carbon monoxide yield from tobacco. For a given level of carbon monoxide exposure, the hypoxic person will attain a higher carboxyhemoglobin level than will a person without hypoxia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2584-2586
Number of pages3
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 16 1978


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