This blog is dedicated to all the Porphyria patients worldwide.
The American Porphyria Foundation will provide updates and information here, as well as on the main site - http://porphyriafoundation.org
Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) is a form of porphyria that primarily affects the skin. People affected by this condition generally experience "photosensitivity," which causes painful, blistering lesions to develop on sun-exposed areas of the skin (i.e. the hands and face). Skin in these areas may also be particularly fragile with blistering and/or peeling after minor trauma. In some cases, increased hair growth as well as darkening and thickening of the affected skin may occur. Liver abnormalities may develop in some people with the condition and PCT, in general, is associated with an increased risk of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. In most cases, PCT is a complex or multifactorial condition that is likely associated with the effects of multiple genes in combination with lifestyle and environmental factors. For example, factors such as excess iron, alcohol, estrogens, smoking, chronic hepatitis C, HIV and mutations in the HFE gene (which is associated with the disease hemochromatosis) can all contribute to the development of PCT. Less commonly, PCT can run in families (called familial PCT). Familial PCT is caused by changes (mutations) in the UROD gene and is inheritedin an autosomal dominant manner. Treatment may include regular phlebotomies (removing a prescribed amount of blood from a vein), certain medications, and/or removal of factors that may trigger the disease.
The Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) provides the following list of features that have been reported in people with this condition. Much of the information in the HPO comes from Orphanet, a European rare disease database. If available, the list includes a rough estimate of how common a feature is (its frequency). Frequencies are based on a specific study and may not be representative of all studies. You can use the MedlinePlus Medical Dictionary for definitions of the terms below.
Research helps us better understand diseases and can lead to advances in diagnosis and treatment. This section provides resources to help you learn about medical research and ways to get involved.
Clinical Research Resources
ClinicalTrials.gov lists trials that are studying or have studied Porphyria cutanea tarda. Click on the link to go to ClinicalTrials.gov to read descriptions of these studies.
Please note: Studies listed on the ClinicalTrials.gov website are listed for informational purposes only; being listed does not reflect an endorsement by GARD or the NIH. We strongly recommend that you talk with a trusted healthcare provider before choosing to participate in any clinical study.
The Porphyrias Consortium is a team of doctors, nurses, research coordinators, and research labs throughout the U.S., working together to improve the lives of people with this condition through research. The Porphyrias Consortium has a registry for patients who wish to be contacted about clinical research opportunities.
Q & A WITH PORPHYRIA EXPERT, DR. BRUCE
WANG, UCSF The APF asked our Facebook friends for their top questions they
would ask a porphyria expert.
The following questions were submitted
to Dr. Wang for his responses ...
Q. Does EPP give us bad teeth? Also, do people with EPP
get stomach pains or is that with the other porphyias?
A. The porphyrin that accumulates in EPP patients is protoporphyrin
IX, which does not cause discoloration to teeth or abdominal pain.
The type of porphyria that leads to discolored teeth is Congenital
Erythropoietic Protoporphyria. The porphyrias that lead to episodic
abdominal pain attacks are the acute hepatic porphyrias.
Q. I have EPP and I have a severe reaction on my hands
and lips. Do I seek urgent care? Also, what can you even do
when you burn your lips?
A. The acute reactions to sunlight in EPP can be very severe and,
unfortunately, there are not many effective options to treat the
symptoms. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS such as