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  1. George H Elder

Published Online: 3 MAY 2005

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0003872



How to Cite

Elder, G. H. 2005. Porphyrias. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 MAY 2005

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The porphyrias are diseases caused by partial deficiencies of the enzymes of haem biosynthesis, most of which are inherited. Clinically, they are characterized by acute episodes of abdominal pain, sometimes with mental disturbances and neuropathy, or by skin disease, caused by photosensitization by porphyrins, or by both of these separately or together.


  • haem biosynthesis;
  • acute hepatic porphyrias;
  • cutaneous porphyrias