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June 1977

Ferrous Iron and Porphyria Cutanea Tarda

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(6):850-851. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640060146030

To the Editor.—  In recent studies ferrous iron has been implicated in the pathogenesis of porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) because of its inhibition of uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase and uroporphyrinogen III cosynthetase.1,2 Taljaard et al3 suggested that beneficial effects of chloroquine treatment may be related to reduction in a specific pool of liver iron. These authors demonstrated increased urinary iron excretion in several patients with PCT who were treated with chloroquine sulfate. Since we have not found any other reports concerning urinary iron excretion in patients with PCT, we would like to describe briefly an additional case.

Report of Case.—  In March 1976, a 60-year-old woman consulted us with an eight-month history of blisters developing over the dorsa of the hands after sunlight exposure. She subsequently noted some tightening of the skin over the arms and neck. In the past six weeks she had noted no new blisters. The patient