Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation in a 7-year-old girl with congenital erythropoietic porphyria: a treatment dilemma

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Congenital erythropoietic porphyria (CEP, Günther's disease) has a very variable phenotype. In the more severely affected, bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is potentially curative, but is not without risks. We describe a 7-year-old girl with CEP characterized by severe photosensitivity but only mild anaemia, in whom the difficult decision to proceed with allogeneic BMT was made after discussion in a multidisciplinary team. She has shown successful engraftment, accompanied by biochemical and clinical resolution of her metabolic disease. She remains well 3 years later, the oldest patient with CEP receiving BMT to survive beyond 12 months. However, she has experienced significant morbidity including florid cutaneous graft-versus-host disease with postinflammatory hypopigmentation. Her case is important in highlighting the delay in diagnosis not uncommon in this condition and the complex decision-making process involved in proceeding with BMT.

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