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J Inherit Metab Dis. 2004;27(1):19-27.

Homozygous acute intermittent porphyria in a 7-year-old boy with massive excretions of porphyrins and porphyrin precursors.

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Clinical Laboratory, Ziekenhuisgroep Twente, Streekziekenhuis Midden Twente, Hengelo, The Netherlands.


A 7-year-old boy demonstrating hepatosplenomegaly, mild anaemia, mild mental retardation, yellow-brown teeth and dark red urine had excessively elevated levels of urinary delta-aminolevulinic acid, porphobilinogen and uroporphyrin. Furthermore hepta-, hexa-, penta- and copro(I)porphyrins were highly increased in urine. This pattern of porphyrin precursor and metabolite excretion is characteristic of acute intermittent porphyria. The decreased copro(III)/copro(I+III) ratio, normally not found in acute intermittent porphyria, is discussed. The porphobilinogen deaminase activity in red cells was decreased to 2-4%. Mutation analysis revealed a novel homozygous L81P mutation in exon 6 of the porphobilinogen deaminase gene. The father and mother, shown to be gene carriers of the same mutation, are asymptomatic and have normal urinary porphyrin precursor and metabolite excretion.

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