Iron and porphyria cutanea tarda.

L. D'Alessandro Gandolfo, D. Griso, A. Macrì, G. Biolcati, A. Barlattani, G. C. Topi

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In order to evaluate the pathogenetic role of iron in Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT), the metabolism of iron was studied in 440 patient with PCT and associated chronic liver disease (CLD) and in 91 nonporphyric CLD patients (used as a control group). The parameters considered were the following: serum iron, ferritin, Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) and percent saturation of transferrin. The statistical analysis showed that the differences between the means, in the two groups, were not significant in any of the parameters examined. To investigate the possible relationships between iron metabolism and other chemico-clinical parameters concerning the porphyric disease, the associated hepatic disease and hemometry, we studied the correlations between iron parameters and total urinary and serum porphyrins, serum copper, serum albumin, hemoglobin, red blood cells, ALT, AST, CHE and GLDH. This investigation was only possible in the last 99 cases. In addition to the obvious correlations between the parameters concerning iron metabolism, the highly significant (p <0.001) correlation between ferritin and enzyme activities which indicate cytolysis (ALT, AST, GLDH) is extremely interesting. The results seem to point to the tentative conclusion that the alterations of iron metabolism are more related to the hepatocellular necrosis than to the metabolism of porphyrins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-79
Number of pages5
JournalCellular and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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