This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Congenital erythropoietic porphyria (CEP) is the rarest type of porphyria and is commonly seen in infancy. It is characterized by severe skin photosensitivity that may lead to scarring, blistering, and increased hair growth at the face and back of the hands. Photosensitivity and infection may cause the loss of fingers and facial features. Symptoms of CEP range from mild to severe and may include excessive hair growth throughout the body (hypertrichosis), reddish discoloration of the teeth, anemia, and reddish-colored urine. In CEP, there is a defect in the synthesis of heme within the red blood cells of bone marrow. This defect leads to an increase in the buildup and, therefore, waste of porphyrin and its precursors, which leads to the signs and symptoms. Inheritance is autosomal recessive. It is caused by mutations in the UROS gene. Treatment for CEP may include a bone marrow transplant and hematopoietic stem cell cord blood transplantation. Blood transfusions or spleen removal may also reduce the amount of porphyrin produced by the bone marrow. Affected people must avoid sunlight exposure.
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