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NEW SYMPTOMATIC TREATMENT FOR ACUTEN INTERMITTENT PORPHYRIA

W. H. WEHRMACHER, M.D.
AMA Arch Intern Med. 1952;89(1):111-114. doi:10.1001/archinte.1952.00240010121012.
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HERETOFORE there has been no satisfactory treatment for acute intermittent porphyria.1 Mortality and morbidity have been high.1b The gastrointestinal disability alone has prevented patients from being self-supporting since the sequelae of one exacerbation persist as the next exacerbation begins. Frequently patients with initial symptoms limited to the gastrointestinal tract later exhibit neurological symptoms.1b When neurological symptoms appear, the mortality approaches 90% in a single attack.2

Prolonged observation of frequently occurring exacerbations of acute intermittent porphyria in one patient afforded opportunity to test the effectiveness of several new treatments. Four successful methods were discovered which promptly aborted symptoms. The patient was able to return to employment from which his illness had kept him for the preceding two years.

REPORT OF CASE  D. S., a 28-year-old white man, entered the hospital in January, 1948, complaining of severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. He had considered himself well, except for a deformity of

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