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Article
December 13, 1958

ACUTE INTERMITTENT PORPHYRIA WITH RESPIRATORY PARALYSIS

Author Affiliations

Downey, Calif.; Los Angeles

From the Communicable Disease Service, Los Angeles County Hospital; the Respiratory and Rehabilitation Center for Poliomyelitis, Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, Downey, Calif.; and the Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medical Evangelists, Los Angeles.

JAMA. 1958;168(15):1973-1976. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.03000150015004
Abstract

Porphyria is characterized by remissions and exacerbations; it causes death by producing respiratory failure. Three patients with respiratory involvement during recurring episodes of intermittent porphyria were treated by tracheotomy and mechanical respiratory assistance. The cases serve to emphasize that such patients may recover from their respiratory complication and be ambulant, even after a prolonged illness and in spite of continued excretion of porphobilinogen. Use of the respirator is emphasized, because it will prevent death due to paralytic respiratory failure, thus allowing time for clinical remission and recovery.

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