• George R. Gotelli
  • Jeffrey H. Wall
  • Pokar M. Kabra
  • Laurence J. Marton
Part of the Biological Methods book series (BM)


Historically the term porphyria has been used since it was coined in 1871 to describe a purple colored material extracted from pathological feces (1). The first case of porphyria was reported in 1874, (2, 3), but until the 1930 Nobel Prize winning work of Hans Fischer on the synthesis of protoporphyrin, there was little more than academic interest in porphyrin analysis. During the forty years between 1930 and 1970, the biosynthetic pathways leading to the formation of heme, and the details of porphyrin metabolism, were elucidated. During this time quantitative methods for porphyrins in biological fluids used complex and laborious solvent extraction techniques, requiring large sample volumes and hours to complete. We now know that these methods only partially separated the complex mixture of porphyrins found in biological fluids. These solvent extraction procedures fractionated the porphyrins into two broad groups, uroporphyrins (octacarboxylic) and coproporphyrins (tetracarboxylic). However, intermediate carboxylated porphyrin containing 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 carboxyl groups are now known to exist in normal and pathlogical excreta, which were not differentiated, but which were included in the two broad uroporphyrin and copropophyrin groups.


Lead Poisoning Dilute Hydrochloric Acid Zinc Protoporphyrin Solvent Extraction Procedure Erythrocyte Protoporphyrin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Humana Press, Inc. 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • George R. Gotelli
    • 1
  • Jeffrey H. Wall
    • 1
  • Pokar M. Kabra
    • 1
  • Laurence J. Marton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Laboratory Medicine School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan Francisco

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