In intermittent acute porphyria there are no specific alterations in the ultrastructure of the liver. In contrast, the constant characteristic of porphyria cutanea tarda is siderosis of the hepatocytes and Kupffer cells. Therefore, between the two types of hepatic porphyria there are no similar ultrastructural lesions. It is still doubtful whether the presence of hepatosiderosis in porphyria cutanea tarda is connected with the hepatopathy or is secondary to an alteration in the porphyrinic metabolism. The role played by lysosomes is discussed.
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