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[pawr-feer-ee-uh, -fahy-ree-uh] /pɔrˈfɪər i ə, -ˈfaɪ ri ə/
noun, Pathology
a defect of blood pigment metabolism in which porphyrins are produced in excess, are present in the blood, and are found in the urine.
Also called hematoporphyria.
1920-25; porphyr(in) + -ia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for porphyria
  • Hemolytic anemia and porphyria can also cause urine to take on these colors.
British Dictionary definitions for porphyria


a hereditary disease of body metabolism, producing abdominal pain, mental confusion, etc
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from porphyrin a purple substance excreted by patients suffering from this condition, from Greek porphura purple
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for porphyria

metabolic disorder, 1923, from porphyrin (1910), the ame of the type of chemical which, in imbalance, causes it, from German porphyrin, chemical name, from Greek porphyros "purple" (see purple) + -in (2). Some of the compounds are purple.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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porphyria in Medicine

porphyria por·phyr·i·a (pôr-fēr'ē-ə)
Any of several disorders of porphyrin metabolism, usually hereditary, characterized by large amounts of porphyrins in the blood and urine.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for porphyria

any of a group of diseases characterized by the marked overproduction and excretion of porphyrins or of one or another of their precursors. The porphyrins are reddish constituents of heme, the deep red iron-containing pigment of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein of the red blood cells. The deposition of porphyrin compounds in body tissues, notably the skin, gives rise to a variety of symptoms, the nature of which depends on the specific compound that is abnormally metabolized.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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