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March 9, 1963

Diseases of Porphyrin Metabolism.

Author Affiliations

Minneapolis 14

JAMA. 1963;183(10):906. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700100132043

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This is generally an excellent, compact, and well-organized treatise of the more significant up-to-date information concerning normal porphyrin metabolism and biosynthesis and the disturbances in various disease states, notably porphyria. The book is well written and the format and general order usually make for clarity. The index is quite satisfactory.

It would be surprising if there were not at least occasional errors or serious omission in a work whose main objective is to treat such a large and complex topic in a relatively abbreviated manner. One example is the inexplicable statement that Sachs described the characteristic insolubility in chloroform of the red porphobilinogen Ehrlich aldehyde compound. Sachs did mention the relative insolubility of porphobilinogen itself in polar solvents, but the failure of the red aldehyde compound to be extracted from the aqueous phase by chloroform was first pointed out by Schwartz and Watson and became the basis of the test

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