Acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) is characterised by neurovisceral crises the most common clinical presentation of which is abdominal pain. It is an autosomal dominant condition with incomplete penetrance and is potentially life-threatening. The key point in management is to suspect and confirm the diagnosis as early as possible in order to treat the attack and to avoid inappropriate treatments which may exacerbate the crisis. In this chapter we briefly outline the haem biosynthetic pathway and how deficiencies in individual enzymes give rise to the different porphyrias. We then describe the clinical features and diagnosis of AIP, followed by a discussion of pathogenesis, highlighting advances in the molecular biology of AIP and introducing the debate as to whether neurovisceral crises might result from porphyrin precursor neurotoxicity or from haem deficiency. Finally we discuss management, including family screening, avoidance of triggering factors, analgesia, maintenance of a high calorie intake, and administration of haem derivatives.
".uct.ac.za/professional/prof-haem-therapy.htm; Herrick and McColl, 2005; Siegesmund et al., 2010). Nevertheless since HA has been approved for human use, it can be suggested that HA could be tested as a supplement of HAART in selected cases. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) successfully escapes from host immune surveillance, vaccines and antiretroviral agents. The available antiretroviral compounds can only control viremia, but it is impossible to eliminate the virus from the organism, namely because HIV-1 provirus persists in the reservoir cells from which the virus repeatedly disseminates into new cells. Current therapeutic approaches, however, do not specifically address the stage of virus reactivation. Heme has been demonstrated as very efficient in inhibiting HIV-1 reverse transcription, while its derivative hemin ameliorated HIV-1 infection via induction of heme oxygenase-1. Normosang (heme arginate; HA) is a human hemin-containing compound used to treat acute porphyria. In this work, we studied the effects of HA in HIV-1-acutely infected T-cell lines, and in cell lines harboring either a complete HIV-1 provirus (ACH-2 cells) or an HIV-1 "mini-virus" (Jurkat clones expressing EGFP under control of HIV LTR). We demonstrate that HA inhibited HIV-1 replication during the acute infection, which was accompanied by the inhibition of reverse transcription. On the other hand, HA alone stimulated the reactivation of HIV-1 "mini-virus" and synergized with phorbol ester or TNF-α in the reactivation of HIV-1 provirus. The stimulatory effects of HA were inhibited by N-acetyl cysteine, suggesting an increased redox stress and activation of NF-κB. Further, HA induced expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in ACH-2 cells, while HO-1 was found expressed in untreated Jurkat clones. Inhibitor of HO-1 activity, tin protoporphyrin IX, further increased HA-mediated reactivation of HIV-1 "mini-virus" in Jurkat clones, and this effect was also inhibited by N-acetyl cysteine. The stimulatory effects of HA on HIV-1 reactivation thus seem to involve HO-1 and generation of free radicals. Additionally, the effective concentrations of HA did neither affect normal T-cell activation with PMA nor induce activation of the unstimulated cells. In conclusion, HA appears to possess a combination of unique properties that could help to decrease the pool of latently infected reservoir cells, while simultaneously inhibiting HIV-1 replication in newly infected cells. Our results thus suggest a new direction to explore in treatment of HIV/AIDS disease.
Antiviral research 12/2011; 92(3):434-46. DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2011.09.011 · 3.94 Impact Factor
"There are three autosomal dominant acute porphyrias: AIP, variegate porphyria, and hereditary coproporphyria. Symptomatic AIP prevalence is 2 to 3 cases per 100,000 persons per year . Porphyria attacks can be triggered by environmental factors, reduced calorie intake , medications (barbiturate, calcium channel blockers, antibiotics, antifungals, and hormones ) , large alcohol intake, nicotine abuse, infection, surgery, or psychological disorder. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite being challenging, delivery of effective nursing care to patients with acute intermittent porphyria is a matter of utmost importance. In this paper, the diversity of symptoms and the difficult diagnosis of this condition are emphasized, and details concerning the treatment of this disorder in the intensive care unit are presented. We believe that acute intermittent porphyria should be borne in mind during performance of differential diagnosis of neurological, psychiatric, and gastroenterological disorders on patients whose routine investigation tests are normal, especially when precipitating factors exist. Intensive care measures and a multidisciplinary team approach are essential.
Critical care research and practice 05/2011; 2011:283690. DOI:10.1155/2011/283690
"As presented by Raigal, a 50% reduction of the activity of the PBG deaminase is sufficient to appreciate clinical manifestations . As suggested elsewhere, it is also important to keep in mind all the known triggering factors, such as medication drugs, changes in women's hormonal cycles, caloric deprivation, tobacco, alcohol, or infections . These factors can cause the accumulation of delta aminolevulinic acid (ALA) and PBG—which are normally eliminated through urine and feces—in the tissues, producing the clinical symptoms. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autoimmune hepatitis is a disease characterized by an elevation of liver enzymes, as well as specific autoantibodies. It is more common in women than men. We describe a 32-year-old woman with elevated transaminases, autoantibodies, and a liver biopsy result suggestive of autoimmune hepatitis. The indicated treatment was administered without showing a satisfactory response. The patient had a family history of acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) so we decided to begin treatment with hematin, achieving a complete remission of the symptoms. Acute intermittent porphyria is a rare condition characterized by neurovisceral symptoms, abdominal pain being the most common of them. The disease has a higher prevalence among young women and certain European countries such as Sweden, Great Britain, and Spain. A correct diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential because patients affected by AIP must have a strict followup due to the fatal outcome of the outbreaks.
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