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Diet and alcohol effects on the manifestation of hepatic porphyrias.

Authors
  • Cripps, D J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Federation proceedings
Publication Date
Apr 01, 1987
Volume
46
Issue
5
Pages
1894–1900
Identifiers
PMID: 3556614
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) is the most frequently reported type of porphyria. The average patient is male more than 40 years old with a history of alcohol consumption. In women the incidence of PCT has increased with use of estrogens for birth control. The cutaneous features are those of chronic porphyrin photosensitivity on the light-exposed area of the skin: pigmentation, hirsuitism and fragility, and vesiculobullae, which has prompted the expression bullosa actinica et mechanica. One-third of the patients have glucose intolerance. PCT has been reported frequently among the Bantu people in South Africa as resulting from combinations of alcohol and cooking in ironware. The average patient has a higher than normal hematocrit, which is used as a guide to treatment by phlebotomy ranging from 8 to 14 units removed every 2-4 wk. Chemically induced PCT has been reported with chlorinated hydrocarbons, the best-known of which is hexachlorobenzene (HCB). Porphyria was noted in more than 3,000 patients in southeast Turkey between 1955 and 1961, because of consumption of seed wheat treated with HCB. In addition, more than 1,000 children under the age of 1 year died because HCB was transferred from the mother, either via the placenta or through breast milk.

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