Medical Definition of Carboxyhemoglobin

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Carboxyhemoglobin: Hemoglobin that has carbon monoxide instead of the normal oxygen bound to it. Carbon monoxide has a much stronger binding to hemoglobin than oxygen. Carboxyhemoglobin is formed in carbon monoxide poisoning and leads to oxygen deficiency in the body. The source of the carbon monoxide may be exhaust (such as from a car, truck, boat, or generator), smoke from a fire, or tobacco smoke. The level of carboxyhemoglobin is a measure of the degree of carbon monoxide exposure.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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