Iron, genes, and viruses: the porphyria cutanea tarda triple threat.Cutis. 2011 Aug; 88(2):73-6.C
Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) is a vesiculobulIous disorder often associated with estrogens, hepatitis C virus (HCV), alcoholism, hereditary hemochromatosis (HH), and human immunodeficiency virus. Hepcidin, a peptide hormone produced by the liver, has been associated with iron metabolism in 3 common precipitating factors for PCT: HCV, HH, and alcohol consumption. We present the case of a patient with erosions and noninflammatory bullae on his hands and forearms who received a diagnosis of PCT. On further examination, the patient was found to be positive for 3 precipitating factors: HCV, an HH gene mutation, and alcohol use. For patients with PCT, it is important to perform phenotypic screening for HCV and HH. Targeting hepcidin with replacement therapy to decrease iron may be a treatment of not only HCV, HH, and alcoholic cirrhosis, but also PCT.