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International Journal of Hepatology
Volume 2011, Article ID 392049, 3 pages
Case Report

Chronic Elevation of Liver Enzymes in Acute Intermittent Porphyria Initially Misdiagnosed as Autoimmune Hepatitis

Internal Medicine, Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío, 41013 Seville, Spain

Received 11 October 2010; Revised 3 December 2010; Accepted 27 December 2010

Academic Editor: Pierluigi Toniutto

Copyright © 2011 A. González Estrada 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.


Autoimmune hepatitis is a disease characterized by an elevation of liver enzymes, as well as specific autoantibodies. It is more common in women than men. We describe a 32-year-old woman with elevated transaminases, autoantibodies, and a liver biopsy result suggestive of autoimmune hepatitis. The indicated treatment was administered without showing a satisfactory response. The patient had a family history of acute intermittent porphyria (AIP) so we decided to begin treatment with hematin, achieving a complete remission of the symptoms. Acute intermittent porphyria is a rare condition characterized by neurovisceral symptoms, abdominal pain being the most common of them. The disease has a higher prevalence among young women and certain European countries such as Sweden, Great Britain, and Spain. A correct diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential because patients affected by AIP must have a strict followup due to the fatal outcome of the outbreaks.