Journal Article
Review
Add like
Add dislike
Add to saved papers

Porphyrias: A 2015 update.

The hereditary porphyrias comprise a group of eight metabolic disorders of the heme biosynthesis pathway. Each porphyria is caused by abnormal function at a separate enzymatic step resulting in a specific accumulation of heme precursors. Porphyrias are classified as hepatic or erythropoietic, based on the organ system in which heme precursors (δ-aminolevulinic acid [ALA], porphobilinogen and porphyrins) are overproduced. Clinically, porphyrias are characterized by acute neurovisceral symptoms, skin lesions or both. However, most if not all the porphyrias impair hepatic or gastrointestinal function. Acute hepatic porphyrias present with severe abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, confusion and seizure, which may be life threatening, and patients are at risk of hepatocellular carcinoma without cirrhosis. Porphyria Cutanea presents with skin fragility and blisters, and patients are at risk of hepatocellular carcinoma with liver iron overload. Erythropoietic protoporphyria and X-linked protoporphyria present with acute painful photosensitivity, and patients are at risk of acute liver failure. Altogether, porphyrias are still underdiagnosed, but once they are suspected, early diagnosis based on measurement of biochemical metabolites that accumulate in the blood, urine, or feces is essential so specific treatment can be started as soon as possible and long-term liver complications are prevented. Screening families to identify presymptomatic carriers is also crucial to prevent overt disease and chronic hepatic complications.

Full text links

We have located links that may give you full text access.
Can't access the paper?
Try logging in through your university/institutional subscription. For a smoother one-click institutional access experience, please use our mobile app.

Related Resources

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

Mobile app image

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2024 by WebMD LLC.
This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.

By using this service, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.

Your Privacy Choices Toggle icon

You can now claim free CME credits for this literature searchClaim now

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app