Porphyrin tests measure the level of porphyrins in your blood, urine, or stool. Porphyrins are chemicals that help make hemoglobin, a type of protein in your red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body.
It's normal to have a small amount of porphyrins in your blood and other body fluids. But too much porphyrin may mean you have a type of porphyria . Porphyria is a rare disorder that can cause serious health problems. Porphyria is usually divided into two categories:
- Acute porphyrias, which mainly affect the nervous system and causes abdominal symptoms
- Cutaneous porphyrias, which cause skin symptoms when you are exposed to sunlight
Some porphyrias affect both the nervous system and the skin.
Other names: protoporphyrin; protoporphyrin, blood; protoporhyrin, stool; porphyrins, feces; uroporphyrin; porphyrins, urine; Mauzerall-Granick test; acid; ALA; porphobilinogen; PBG; free erythrocyte protoporphyrin; fractionated erythrocyte porphyrins; FEP