Acute intermittent porphyria presenting with a subarachnoid haemorrhage

This version was published on 1 November 2008

Ann Clin Biochem 2008;45:610-611
© 2008 Association for Clinical Biochemistry


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Case Reports

Charles van Heyningen1 and
David M Simms2

1 Clinical Laboratories, University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool L9 7AL;
2 Chemical Pathology Department, Kingston Hospital, Kingston upon Thames KT2 7QB, UK

Corresponding author: Dr Charles van Heyningen. Email: charles.vanheyningen{at}

A 47-year-old man presented with abdominal pain, neck stiffness,severe transient hypertension and unusually dark urine. Cerebrospinalfluid investigations and angiography confirmed the diagnosisof a subarachnoid haemorrhage. Porphyrin studies on the patientand his family demonstrated that the family has acute intermittentporphyria. This is the second case report of an acute hepaticporphyria presenting with a subarachnoid haemorrhage. Acutetransient hypertension during the attack of porphyria causedthe rupture of an intracranial arterial aneurysm.

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