Diseases & Conditions


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Porphyria, Acute Intermittent


Synonyms of Porphyria, Acute Intermittent
  • AIP
  • Porphyriam Acute Intermittent
  • Porphyria, Swedish Type
  • Pyrroloporphyria

Disorder Subdivisions



    General Discussion
    Acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) is a rare metabolic disorder that is characterized by deficiency of the enzyme porphobilinogen deaminase (PBG-D), also known as uroporphyrinogen I-synthase. This enzyme deficiency results in the accumulation of porphyrins or porphyrin precursors in the body. These are natural chemicals that normally do not accumulate in the body. This enzyme deficiency by itself is not sufficient to produce symptoms of the disease (latent). Additional factors must also be present such as hormones, drugs and dietary changes that trigger the appearance of symptoms. Symptoms of AIP may include abdominal pain, constipation, and muscle weakness.

    AIP is one of a group of disorders known as the porphyrias. The common feature in all porphyrias is the excess accumulation in the body of porphyrins or porphyrin precursors. Different types of porphyias are characterized by the accumulation of different types of porphyrin chemicals.

    Porphyrias can also be classified into two groups: the hepatic and erythropoietic types. In the hepatic types of porphyria, porphyrins and related substances originate in excess amounts from the liver; in the erythropoietic types, they originate mostly from the bone marrow.

    The porphyrias with skin manifestations are sometimes called cutaneous porphyrias. The acute porphyrias are characterized by sudden attacks of pain and other neurological symptoms. These acute symptoms may be severe and often rapidly appear. An individual may be considered latent if he or she has the characteristic enzyme deficiency but has never developed symptoms. There can be a wide spectrum of severity between the latent and active cases of any particular type of porphyria. The symptoms and treatments of the different types of porphyrias are not the same.

    Organizations related to Porphyria, Acute Intermittent
    • American Porphyria Foundation
      4900 Woodway
      Houston TX 77056
      Phone #: 713-266-9617
      800 #: --
      e-mail: porphyrus@aol.com
      Home page: http://www.porphyriafoundation.com
    • CLIMB (Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases)
      Climb Building
      Crewe Intl CW2 6BG
      Phone #: +44- 87-0 7700 325
      800 #: --
      e-mail: info@climb.org.uk
      Home page: http://www.CLIMB.org.uk
    • Canadian Association for Porphyria
      P.O. Box 1206
      Manitoba Intl ROJ 1HO
      Phone #: (20-4)4-76-2800
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: N/A
      Home page: http://www.cpf-inc.ca/
    • MUMS (Mothers United for Moral Support, Inc) National Parent-to-Parent Network
      150 Custer Court
      Green Bay WI 54301-1243
      Phone #: 920-336-5333
      800 #: 877-336-5333
      e-mail: mums@netnet.net
      Home page: http://www.netnet.net/mums/
    • Medic Alert Foundation International
      2323 Colorado Avenue
      Turlock CA 95382
      Phone #: 209-669-2401
      800 #: 800-432-5378
      e-mail: Inquiries@medicalert.org
      Home page: http://www.medicalert.org
    • NIH/National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
      2 Information Way
      Bethesda MD 20892-3570
      Phone #: 301-654-3810
      800 #: 800-891-5389
      e-mail: nddic@info.niddk.nih.gov
      Home page: http://www.niddk.nih.gov
    • Warner, Cecilia, M.D.
      Division of Medical and Molecular Genetics
      New York NY 10029
      Phone #: --
      800 #: --
      e-mail: N/A
      Home page: N/A



    For a Complete Report

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html