Porphyrins

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Also known as: ALA; PBG
Formal name: [Primary tests]; Delta-aminolaevulinic acid (ALA); porphobilinogen (PBG); porphyrins
Related tests: Zinc protoporphyrin

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To help diagnose and sometimes to monitor porphyrias (a group of inherited disorders involving disturbance in the metabolism of haem, a component of haemoglobin)

When to Get Tested?

If a patient has symptoms that suggest an acute porphyria (such as abdominal pain, tingling in hands or feet, and/or confusion or hallucinations) or a cutaneous porphyria (such as reddening, blistering, or scarring on sun-exposed skin)

Sample Required?

A blood sample taken from a vein in your arm, a random urine sample, preferably collected whilst symptoms are occurring, and a small stool sample

Test Preparation Needed?

None required, but preferably collect samples when symptoms are occuring