Question: What is favism?
Answer: The cited reference notes “Reduced concentrations of G6PD render erythrocytes susceptible to hemolysis under oxidative conditions induced by oxidant drugs, infection, or ingestion of fava beans. The latter is known as favism.” These authors also note “Favism is characterized by acute hemolysis, hemoglobinuria, anemia, and jaundice. Headache, nausea, back pain, chills, and fever may be present. Although elevated methemoglobin (metHb) levels have been observed during the hemolytic crisis of favic patients textbooks and recent review articles do not mention symptomatic methemoglobinemia as a clinical feature. (Schuurman M et al. Severe hemolysis and methemoglobinemia following fava beans ingestion in glucose-6-phosphatase dehydrogenase deficiency—case report and literature review. 2009 Eur J Pediatr 168:779-782)