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Eur J Intern Med. 2019 Sep;67:24-29. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2019.06.014. Epub 2019 Jun 27.

Porphyrias: A clinically based approach.

Author information

1
Internal Medicine Department, Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho Hospital Center, E.P.E., Rua Conceição Fernandes, s/n, 4434-502 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal. Electronic address: rigorj.md@gmail.com.
2
Internal Medicine Department, Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho Hospital Center, E.P.E., Rua Conceição Fernandes, s/n, 4434-502 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.
3
Internal Medicine Department, Vila Nova de Gaia/Espinho Hospital Center, E.P.E., Rua Conceição Fernandes, s/n, 4434-502 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal; Biomedicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Alameda Prof. Hernâni Monteiro, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal; i3S - Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde da Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal, R. Alfredo Allen, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Porphyrias are a group of metabolic diseases, individually rare but with an important combined prevalence. Because of their pathological complexity and clinical heterogeneity, they present a challenging diagnosis. The present review aims to provide a clinically based approach to the recognition and treatment of these disorders.

METHODS:

We carried out a search in PubMed, with the keyword "porphyria", for reviews published in English from 2010 until 2017.

RESULTS:

The research yielded 196 papers, of which 64 were included in the final narrative review.

CONCLUSIONS:

Porphyrias can be divided based on clinical presentation in acute neurovisceral, chronic cutaneous bullous, chronic cutaneous non-bullous and acute neurovisceral/chronic cutaneous bullous. Each individual porphyria presents a characteristic pattern of porphyrins in plasma, urine, stool and red blood cells. As such, diagnosis is easily obtained by following a simple diagnostic algorithm. Early recognition is key in managing these diseases. Neurovisceral porphyrias require acute support therapy and chronic eviction of precipitating factors. Cutaneous prophyrias, as photosensitivity disorders, rely on sunlight avoidance and, in some cases, specific therapeutic interventions. Given the rarity of these conditions, physician awareness is crucial.

KEYWORDS:

Abdominal pain; Heme; Metabolic diseases; Photosensitivity disorders; Porphyrias

PMID:
31257150
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejim.2019.06.014

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