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Acute intermittent porphyria caused by novel mutation in HMBS gene, misdiagnosed as cholecystitis

Authors Alfadhel M, Saleh N, Alenazi H, Baffoe-Bonnie H

Received 22 August 2014

Accepted for publication 17 September 2014

Published 12 November 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 2135—2137


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Majid Alfadhel,1,3 Neam Saleh,2 Helal Alenazi,2 Henry Baffoe-Bonnie2

1Division of Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, 2Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 3College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Background: Acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) is an autosomal dominant neurovisceral inherited disorder due to a defect in the heme biosynthesis pathway. Misdiagnosis of the porphyrias is not uncommon.
Case report: We present a case of a 26-year-old female with suspected acute cholecystitis, mental status changes, and seizures. Biochemical and molecular investigations confirmed the diagnosis of AIP by findings of elevated urinary porphobilinogen, 5-aminolevulinic acid, and total porphyrins. DNA molecular testing showed a novel heterozygous mutation (c. 760delC p.L254X) in the exon11 of the HMBS gene. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a misdiagnosis of AIP presenting with acute cholecystitis.
Conclusion: Clinicians are alerted to consider the possibility of AIP in an adult presenting with an acute abdomen, features of cholecystitis, and neuropsychiatric manifestations.

Keywords: porphyria, cholecystitis, acute abdomen, acute intermittent porphyria, HMBS gene, hydroxymethylbilane synthase

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