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August 1978

Transient Monoparesis in Acute Intermittent Porphyria

Author Affiliations

Dept of Neurology University of Vermont College of Medicine Burlington, VT 05401

Arch Neurol. 1978;35(8):550. doi:10.1001/archneur.1978.00500320070021

To the Editor.—  Transient monoparesis is a rare manifestation of acute intermittent porphyria. It is important to establish the correct diagnosis since barbiturates and other drugs might precipitate much more serious neurologic manifestations of this disease.

Report of a Case.—  A 16-year-old boy was admitted because of diffuse abdominal and right leg pain and weakness of one day's duration. He was unable to walk without assistance. The patient had recently been admitted to another hospital with the same symptoms that resolved spontaneously in 72 hours. He had no known past exposure to barbiturates or any other drugs and had no unusual exertion before admission. An 18-year-old sibling had undiagnosed recurrent abdominal pain; the family history was otherwise unremarkable.The only abnormal findings consisted of diffuse abdominal tenderness, substantial right leg weakness that was more severe distally, painful dysesthesia of the right thigh and leg, and a decreased right ankle jerk.

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