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Alcohol and Indian porphyrics.
  1. H. C. Saksena,
  2. R. B. Panwar,
  3. P. Rajvanshi,
  4. M. Sabir,
  5. M. Suri
  1. Department of Medicine, S.P. Medical College, Rajasthan, India.


    The role of alcohol as the precipitating factor in the induction of acute attacks of acute intermittent porphyria was studied in an Indian population. Thirty-four teetotal patients with acute intermittent porphyria, in remission, were given 60 ml of 30% ethanol. Except for two patients, all had negative Watson-Schwartz tests prior to the alcohol. Within 24 hours, the Watson-Schwartz test became positive in 16 of these 32 patients (50%). In 8 out of the 34 patients (23.5%) a clinical attack was precipitated, including both patients who had a positive Watson-Schwartz test prior to the alcohol. It was concluded that alcohol does precipitate an acute attack in a significant percentage of patients of Indian origin with acute intermittent porphyria. Patients already excreting porphobilinogen are at a greater risk of developing an acute attack on alcohol ingestion. This study is the first from India and probably first of its kind to be reported from any country.

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