Acute intermittent porphyria: case report and review of the literature.

Acute intermittent porphyria is an unusual pathology with potentially severe consequences when not early detected. Among the possible causes of porphyric crises decrease of caloric intake has been described. A case of acute intermittent porphyria in the late postoperative period of a bariatric surgery performed for treatment of obesity is reported. A review of the diagnostic aspects and management of this pathology in the intensive care unit follows. A 31 year old woman was admitted in the intensive care unit three weeks after a bariatric surgery, with decreased level of consciousness and respiratory distress. The patient evolved with psychomotor agitation, mental confusion, abdominal pain and proximal tetraparesis. Diagnosis investigation disclosed severe hyponatremia (92mEq/L), hypomagnesemia, hypophosfatemia and hypocalcemia and cloudy urine without hematuria. Acute porphyria was suspected and the urine test detected high delta amino-levulinic acid and porphobilinogen. Treatment consisted of a correction of electrolyte disturbances and high carbohydrate intake. Hematin and heme arginate were not used, due to the difficulty to acquire the medication. After 8 months the patient progressed with full recovery of muscle strength and a clinical improvement. Acute intermittent porphyria has signs and symptoms common to several clinical, neurological, psychiatric and gastroenterological pathologies, which complicate diagnosis. Therefore, acute intermittent porphyria should be included in the differential diagnosis of neurological, psychiatric and gastroenterological alterations when results of all other exams are normal. Attention must be given to patients undergoing surgery mainly bariatric that, in addition to procedure stress, substantially limit the total caloric intake, potentially triggering crises. Review of literature did not disclose any report of acute intermittent porphyria crisis induced by bariatric surgery.
AuthorsDaniela von Ah Lopes, Marcelo Araújo do Valle, Jéfferson Taguti, Regina Celli Thomé Castro Taguti, Gustavo Navarro Betônico, Fabiana Clemente Medeiros
JournalRevista Brasileira de terapia intensiva (Rev Bras Ter Intensiva) Vol. 20 Issue 4 Pg. 429-34 (Dec 2008) ISSN: 0103-507X [Print] Brazil
Vernacular TitlePorfiria aguda intermitente: relato de caso e revisão da literatura.
PMID25307250 (Publication Type: Journal Article)

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