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Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2011;13(6). pii: PCC.11br01234. doi: 10.4088/PCC.11br01234.

Schizoaffective disorder with missed diagnosis of acute porphyria: a case report and overview.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Psychiatry (Drs Jain and Resch), Department of Psychiatry (Dr Bennett), and Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Simmons Cancer Institute (Dr Godwin), Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield.


Acute porphyrias are often misdiagnosed and most commonly present as atypical neuropsychiatric symptoms or acute abdominal pain. Clinicians should suspect acute porphyrias in patients presenting with variable neuropsychiatric symptoms and unexplained pain. Proper identification can lead to less iatrogenicity associated with porphyrinogenic agents, appropriate management, and a better patient outcome. The case of a patient with hereditary coproporphyria, one of the acute porphyrias, is presented to illustrate the broad manifestations, unsuspected diagnosis, and difficulties in management.

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