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Critical Care Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 283690, 4 pages
Case Report

Acute Intermittent Porphyria Associated with Respiratory Failure: A Multidisciplinary Approach

1Divisão de Terapia Intensiva, Departamento de Cirurgia e Anatomia, Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, 14049-900 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil
2Laboratório de Biomarcadores de Diagnóstico e Monitoração, Instituto René Rachou, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

Received 18 November 2010; Revised 7 February 2011; Accepted 16 March 2011

Academic Editor: Daniel De Backer

Copyright © 2011 Mayra Gonçalves Menegueti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite being challenging, delivery of effective nursing care to patients with acute intermittent porphyria is a matter of utmost importance. In this paper, the diversity of symptoms and the difficult diagnosis of this condition are emphasized, and details concerning the treatment of this disorder in the intensive care unit are presented. We believe that acute intermittent porphyria should be borne in mind during performance of differential diagnosis of neurological, psychiatric, and gastroenterological disorders on patients whose routine investigation tests are normal, especially when precipitating factors exist. Intensive care measures and a multidisciplinary team approach are essential.