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Am J Med Sci. 1983 Jan-Feb;285(1):2-12.

Effects of phlebotomy on urinary porphyrin pattern and liver histology in patients with porphyria cutanea tarda.


Urinary porphyrin profiles and liver histology have been investigated in a group of adult alcoholics with porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) before and after one year phlebotomy. Both parameters were evaluated during the same period in a group of patients who did not undergo specific therapy for PCT. All patients were advised to abstain from alcohol. At the end of the one year observation period there was a significant fall of urinary total porphyrins and in the uro/coproporphyrin ratio in treated patients compared to basal values whereas no changes were found in controls. Liver biopsy findings revealed a significant reduction of hepatic fatty degeneration and siderosis with no changes in inflammatory infiltrates and fibrosis in treated patients, so the progression of liver disease was similar to controls. These results show that clinical and biochemical remission of PCT can occur independently of the evolution of the concomitant liver disease.

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