differential diagnosis

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Acute abdominal pain and neurologic features of variegate porphyria and acute intermittent porphyria are similar - but urine becomes brown on standing in AIP and faecal protoporphyria is raised in VP.

Cutaneous lesions of VP, porphyria cutanea tarda, bullous and other photosensitivity disorders are similar. VP is distinguished by elevated faecal protoporphyrin and coproporphyrin.

Plasma fluorescence scanning helps differentiate variegate porphyria from acute intermittent porphyria, erythropoietic protoporphyria, congenital erythropoietic porphyria, porphyria cutanea tarda, and hereditary coproporphyria (1).

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Last reviewed 01/2018

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