Sequential liver and bone marrow transplantation for treatment of erythropoietic protoporphyria

Pediatrics. 2006 Dec;118(6):e1896-9. doi: 10.1542/peds.2006-0833. Epub 2006 Oct 30.


Erythropoietic protoporphyria is a disorder of heme synthesis in which deficient ferrochelatase activity leads to excess production and biliary excretion of protoporphyrin. The main clinical features, photosensitivity and hepatobiliary disease that may progress to liver failure, are caused by the toxicity of protoporphyrin. Liver transplantation has been used to treat liver failure in erythropoietic protoporphyria, but excess production of protoporphyrin by the bone marrow continues causing recurrence of liver disease in the majority of patients. This is the first report of successful sequential liver and bone marrow transplantation in a patient with liver failure as a result of erythropoietic protoporphyria. This combination corrected the severe phenotype, resolving the severe photosensitivity and halting erythropoietic protoporphyria associated liver graft injury. Splenectomy seemed to facilitate the successful bone marrow transplant.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Liver Failure / etiology*
  • Liver Failure / surgery*
  • Liver Transplantation / methods*
  • Male
  • Protoporphyria, Erythropoietic / complications*
  • Protoporphyria, Erythropoietic / surgery*