II. Indications

  1. Low-cost clinic-based Iron Deficiency screening
  2. Lead Poisoning screening

III. Physiology

  1. Protoporphyrin converted to heme by ferrocheletase
  2. Lead inhibits ferrocheletase
    1. Protoporphyrin accumulates (ferrocheletase absent)
  3. Iron Deficiency results in impaired heme synthesis
    1. Protoporphyrin accumulates

IV. Technique

  1. Hematofluorimeter measures Protoporphyrin

V. Efficacy

  1. Iron Deficiency Anemia
    1. Identifies cases of Iron Deficiency prior to Anemia
    2. Non-specific test (see causes for increase below)
    3. Misses some cases of Iron Deficiency Anemia
      1. Perform concurrently with Hemoglobin
    4. Similar to Transferrin Saturation
      1. Marks similar timing in Iron Deficiency
  2. Lead Poisoning
    1. Correlated with blood lead level
    2. See normal values below

VI. Interpretation

  1. Normal range: 16 - 65 ug/dl (adults)
  2. Overt Iron Deficiency Anemia: Protoporphyrin >100
  3. Lead levels correlated with Protoporphyrin
    1. Protoporphyrin 79: Blood lead level 29
    2. Protoporphyrin 147: Blood lead level 49
    3. Protoporphyrin 255: Blood lead level 79

VII. Increased

  1. Iron Deficiency Anemia
  2. Lead Poisoning
  3. Sideroblastic Anemia
  4. Chronic disease
  5. Hemolytic Anemia
  6. Erythropoietic protoporphyria

VIII. References

  1. Bakerman (1984) Interpretive Lab Data, p. 449
  2. Kazal (2002) Am Fam Physician 66(7):1217-27 [PubMed]

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Related Studies

Ontology: Protoporphyrins (C0033733)

Definition (NCI) A tetrapyrrole containing 4 methyl, 2 propionic and 2 vinyl side chains that is a metabolic precursor for hemes, cytochrome c and chlorophyll. Protoporphyrin IX is produced by oxidation of the methylene bridge of protoporphyrinogen by the enzyme protoporphyrinogen oxidase.
Definition (MSH) Porphyrins with four methyl, two vinyl, and two propionic acid side chains attached to the pyrrole rings. Protoporphyrin IX occurs in hemoglobin, myoglobin, and most of the cytochromes.
Concepts Biologically Active Substance (T123) , Organic Chemical (T109)
MSH D011524
SnomedCT 51866008
LNC LP15839-1, MTHU004691
English Protoporphyrins, 3,7,12,17-Tetramethyl-8,13-divinyl-2,18-porphinedipropionic Acid, Protoporphyrins [Chemical/Ingredient], protoporphyrins, protoporphyrin, 3,3'-(3,7,12,17-Tetramethyl-8,13-divinylporphine-2,18-diyl)di(propionic acid), 7,12-diethenyl-3,8,13,17-tetramethylporphyrin-2,18-dipropanoic acid, PROTOPORPHYRIN, 2,18-Porphinedipropionic acid, 3,8,13,17-tetramethyl-7,12-divinyl- (8CI), PpIX, 3,7,12,17-tetramethyl-8,13-divinylporphyrin-2,18-dipropanoic acid, Protoporpyrin IX, Protoporphyrin IX, Ooporphyrin, 21H,23H-Porphine-2,18-dipropanoic acid, 7,12-diethenyl-3,8,13,17-tetramethyl-, 3,3'-(3,7,12,17-tetramethyl-8,13-divinyl-21H,23H-porphine-2,18-diyl)-bis-propionic acid, Protoporphyrin, Protoporphyrin (substance)
Swedish Protoporfyriner
Czech protoporfyriny
Finnish Protoporfyriinit
French Ooporphyrines, Protoporphyrines
Polish Protoporfiryny
Spanish protoporfirina (sustancia), protoporfirina, Protoporfirinas
German Protoporphyrine
Italian Protoporfirine
Portuguese Protoporfirinas

Ontology: Protoporphyrin.free (C0807523)

Concepts Clinical Attribute (T201)
LNC LP21411-1, MTHU005178
English Protoporphyrin.free