Sun, iron, alcohol and intrinsic liver disease: a recipe for failure.

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A 62-year-old Caucasian woman, with remote history of painful skin blistering and hypertrichosis, recent history of travel to Mexico and increased alcohol consumption, presented with progressively worsening jaundice and fatigue. Physical examination was remarkable for severe generalised jaundice, scleral icterus and erythematous facial blistering and scarring. Laboratory workup revealed markedly elevated total and direct bilirubin, mildly elevated transaminases, severe iron overload and increased urine coproporphyrin. Porphyria cutanea tarda was diagnosed, and she was treated with supportive measures including hydration and alcohol cessation. Pathology of her liver demonstrated mild iron overload and severe fatty infiltration. Hospital follow-up revealed complete resolution of jaundice and fatigue and near-normalisation of liver function tests.

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BMJ Case Rep