Hemolytic anemia is not a common clinical feature in protoporphyria. In this report, we describe two patients in whom we have encountered severe hemolytic anemia. Both individuals had advanced hepatic disease as a complication of their porphyria and were undergoing orthoptic liver transplantation. The onset of hemolysis appeared to be related to the development of liver disease, and in both cases, the operative procedure acutely exacerbated the red cell destructive process. We suggest that liver involvement in protoporphyria may unmask hemolytic anemia, and that red cells in these individuals are hypersensitive to photooxidative stress, such as might occur during a prolonged operative procedure.
- liver transplantation