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June 1957

Porphyria Cutanea Tarda: Report of Case Successfully Treated with Chloroquine

Author Affiliations

Montgomery, Ala.

AMA Arch Derm. 1957;75(6):801-803. doi:10.1001/archderm.1957.01550180015004

Porphyria cutanea tarda, or chronic porphyria, is a rare disease, in which there is vesicle formation on parts exposed to the sun, especially the face and hands. Its successful treatment has not previously been reported, even with the use of the steroid hormones, dimercaprol (BAL),1 folic acid, vitamin B12, or riboflavin.2

Chloroquine has been used more or less successfully in the treatment of chronic discoid lupus erythematosus,3 solar dermatitis, and hydroa estivale,4 all considered to be related to sunlight sensitivity. Because of the definite relationship of bulla and vesicle formation, following exposure to the sun, in a patient with chronic porphyria, chloroquine has been tried and found to clear the lesions completely in a short time.

The case report of this patient follows:

A 47-year-old white man came in on Feb. 2, 1955, with a history of an eczematoid blistering eruption on