National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Porphyria, Variegate is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
- Mixed Hepatic Porphyria
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda Hereditaria
- Porphyria Hepatica, Variegate
- South African Genetic Porphyria
Variegate Porphyria (VP), a form of hepatic porphyria, is most common in the South African white population and is much less frequent elsewhere. It is an autosomal dominant disorder and may produce acute attacks (as in acute intermittent porphyria) as well as skin photosensitivity. This form of porphyria is also due to an enzyme deficiency.
The diagnosis may be made by finding excess coproporphyrin in urine and both coproporphyrin and protoporphyrin in feces. In patients with photosensitive skin changes alone, it is important to distinguish Varigate Porphyria or hereditary coproporphyria (HCP) from porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT), because treatment by phlebotomy or low-dose chloroquine is not successful in VP and HCP. Acute attacks are managed and may be prevented as in AIP.
The Porphyrias are a group of at least seven disorders. The common feature in all porphyrias is the excess accumulation in the body of "porphyrins" or "porphyrin precursors." These are natural chemicals that normally do not accumulate in the body. Precisely which one of these porphyrin chemicals builds up depends upon the type of porphyria that a patient has.
Porphyrias can also be classified into two groups: the "hepatic" and "erythropoietic" types. Porphyrins and related substances originate in excess amounts from the liver in the hepatic types, and mostly from the bone marrow in the erythropoietic types.
The porphyrias with skin manifestations are sometimes called "cutaneous porphyrias." The "acute porphyrias" are characterized by sudden attacks of pain and other neurological manifestations. These acute symptoms can be both rapidly-appearing and severe. An individual may be considered in a "latent" condition if he or she has the characteristic enzyme deficiency, but has never developed symptoms. There can be a wide spectrum of severity between the "latent" and "active" cases of any particular type of this disorder. The symptoms and treatments of the different types of porphyrias are not the same.
CLIMB (Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases)
176 Nantwich Road
Crewe, Intl CW2 6BG
Tel: +44 870 7700 325
Fax: +44 870 7700 327
American Porphyria Foundation
Houston, TX 77056
NIH/National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892-3570
MedicAlert Foundation International
2323 Colorado Avenue
Turlock, CA 95382
Canadian Association for Porphyria
P.O. Box 1206
Manitoba, Intl ROJ 1HO
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
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