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Research Article

Charcoal haemoperfusion and haemodialysis in acute intermittent porphyria.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 287 doi: (Published 10 December 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;287:1746
  1. A C Laiwah,
  2. B Junor,
  3. G J MacPhee,
  4. G G Thompson,
  5. K E McColl


    Charcoal haemoperfusion has been advocated as a means of removing delta aminolaevulinic acid, which accumulates in attacks of acute intermittent porphyria. A woman presented with acute intermittent porphyria unresponsive to conventional treatment and with pain that was difficult to control. Charcoal haemoperfusion was performed in series with haemodialysis for two hours daily on four consecutive days. Although during this treatment serum and urinary concentrations of delta aminolaevulinic acid and porphobilinogen were considerably reduced, they had returned to pretreatment values 24 hours after the end of treatment. Abdominal pain was not relieved. Although a longer course of treatment might have had a more favourable outcome, this seems unlikely in view of the rapid rebound of serum concentration of delta amino-laevulinic acid after each haemoperfusion.