Semin Liver Dis 2007; 27(1): 099-108
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-960173
Copyright © 2007 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Genetic Aspects of Porphyria Cutanea Tarda

Richard W. Lambrecht1 , Manish Thapar2 , Herbert L. Bonkovsky3
  • 1Department of Pharmacology, and The Liver-Biliary-Pancreatic Center, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut
  • 2Department of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut
  • 3Departments of Medicine and Molecular, Microbial, & Structural Biology, and The Liver-Biliary-Pancreatic Center, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
12 February 2007 (online)

ABSTRACT

Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) is caused by disruption of heme biosynthesis at the step catalyzed by uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase. The patients present with photosensitive cutaneous lesions, hepatic pathology (including elevated porphyrin levels), and increased excretion of porphyrins. Therapy consists of removing the exacerbating factors of PCT (reduced sunlight exposure, abstinence from alcohol use, decreased estrogen exposure, and treatment for viral infections), decreasing body iron stores (by therapeutic phlebotomy or by the use of the new orally active iron chelators), and, in some instances, the use of low-dose antimalarials. Recent advances in genetics and genomics have allowed DNA testing for porphyria cutanea tarda and are likely to be instrumental in developing improved, gene-based treatments and in finding genetic loci (in addition to uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase) involved in the clinical expression of this disease.

REFERENCES

Richard W Lambrecht, Ph.D. 

Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, and The Liver-Biliary-Pancreatic Center, University of Connecticut Health Center

263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030-1119