Variable effects of beta-carotene therapy in a child with erythropoietic protoporphyria

Ramin Alemzadeh, Tammy Feehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) is an inborn error of heme biosynthesis with high levels of protoporphyrin in red cells and is characterized by mild to moderate photosensitivity. High-dose beta-carotene therapy has been reported to affford photoprotection in patients with EPP. We report the case of a 5-year-old Caucasian female with EPP who presented with a long-standing 3-year history of recurrent facial blisters and erythematous swelling and lesions of other sun-exposed areas of the skin. She was treated with a topical sunblocker (PreSun Ultra-SP45) but continued to show moderate to severe photosensitivity despite 3 months (March to May) of vigorous photoprotection. She was then started on increasing doses of beta-carotene (90-180 mg/day) over a period of 3 months (June to September) which resulted in a marked improvement of both facial and forearm lesions, but only modest improvement in her hand lesions. Conclusion: High-dose beta-carotene appears to provide photoprotection in erythropoietic protoporphyria, resulting in improved but highly variable tolerance to sunlight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-549
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Volume163
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

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Erythropoietic Protoporphyria
beta Carotene
Sunlight
Solar System
Therapeutics
Blister
Heme
Forearm
Hand
Skin

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Variable effects of beta-carotene therapy in a child with erythropoietic protoporphyria. / Alemzadeh, Ramin; Feehan, Tammy.

In: European Journal of Pediatrics, Vol. 163, No. 9, 01.09.2004, p. 547-549.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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