Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Pharmacother. 2005 Nov;39(11):1932-5. Epub 2005 Oct 4.

Hemolysis and methemoglobinemia secondary to rasburicase administration.

Author information

Department of Pharmacy Services, Detroit Receiving Hospital, Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, MI 48201-2403, USA.



To report a case of hemolytic anemia and methemoglobinemia developing after rasburicase administration to a patient with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.


A 50-year-old African American man was hospitalized with new onset seizure, diabetic ketoacidosis, respiratory failure, and acute renal failure. Serum uric acid concentrations were elevated, and the patient was treated with one dose of intravenous rasburicase 22.5 mg for acute renal failure secondary to hyperuricemia. Routine arterial blood gas analyses performed after rasburicase was administered revealed elevated methemoglobin concentrations, which peaked at 14.7%. Hemolytic anemia developed as evidenced by a fall in blood hemoglobin from 14.8 to 5.3 g/dL. The patient made a full recovery following aggressive fluid therapy, blood transfusions, and respiratory support. G6PD deficiency was subsequently confirmed. The Naranjo probability scale indicated that rasburicase was a probable cause of hemolytic anemia and methemoglobinemia.


Rasburicase is contraindicated in patients with G6PD deficiency as it may cause hemolytic anemia and methemoglobinemia. As of September 26, 2005, simultaneous occurrence of hemolytic anemia and methemoglobinemia has not been reported in patients receiving rasburicase.


As of September 26, 2005, screening for G6PD deficiency should be performed whenever possible prior to chemotherapy administration in patients at risk of developing tumor lysis syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center