Postgraduate Medicine Porphyria cutanea tarda
- Porphyria cutanea tarda
Recent epidemiologic studies (9) have provided particularly compelling evidence of a causative role for hepatitis C. Several of these studies detected active hepatitis C in more than half of patients with the sporadic form of porphyria cutanea tarda. Infected patients typically presented at a younger age and with higher transaminase levels than porphyric patients who were not infected (9). Whether treatment of any of these underlying diseases attenuates the porphyria has yet to be determined. Nonetheless, the presence of coexisting diseases should be considered. It is reasonable to screen all patients with porphyria cutanea tarda for hepatitis C and perhaps B, but screening is especially important for those less than 30 years of age and those with liver transaminase levels greater than three times the upper limit of normal.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]