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Coral Urine under Wood's Lamp

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This patient presented with photosensitivity and a history of drug and alcohol use.

When placed under a Wood’s lamp, a urine sample demonstrated coral-colored fluorescence characteristic of which condition?

Answer: This patient has porphyria cutanea tarda, the most common of the porphyrias. It is a rare metabolic disorder which causes an accumulation of porphyrins. The porphyrins in the skin cause photosensitivity, and the porphyrins in the urine oxidize, causing fluorescence under a Wood’s lamp.

View this and similar cases on Figure 1.





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