(Science: protein) porphyrins are pigments found in both animal and plant life. They are all chelates with metals (fe, mg, co, zn, cu, ni) and constituents of haemoglobin, chlorophyll, cytochromes.

Increased levels of coproporphyrins can indicate congenital erythropoietic porphyria or sideroblastic anaemia. Increased protoporphyrins may be seen in infection, thalassaemia, sideroblastic anaemia, iron deficient anaemia, increased erythropoiesis and lead poisoning. Increased uroporphyrins may indicate congenital erythropoietic porphyria or erythropoietic protoporphyria.

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