Ordering Recommendation

Monitor porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT). Confirm diagnosis of suspected variegate porphyria (VP) and erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP).

New York DOH Approval Status

This test is New York state approved.

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation

Green (heparin), lavender (EDTA), or plain red

Specimen Preparation

CRITICAL: Protect from light during collection, storage, and shipment.  Separate plasma or serum from cells within 1 hour of collection. Transfer 2 mL plasma or serum to an ARUP Amber Transport Tube. (Min: 1 mL)

Storage/Transport Temperature


Unacceptable Conditions

Body fluids other than plasma or serum. Frozen whole blood. Hemolyzed specimens.


After separation from cells: Ambient: Unacceptable; Refrigerated: 14 days; Frozen: 3 month


Quantitative Fluorometry


Sun, Tue, Thu


1-4 days

Reference Interval

0-15 nmol/L

Interpretive Data

Compliance Category



Useful for evaluation of cutaneous photosensitivity to rule out porphyrin disorders, particularly erythropoietic protoporphyria. Urine is the best specimen for evaluation of suspected porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT), but monitoring of PCT with plasma or serum is an acceptable practice. Evaluation of neurologic and/or psychiatric symptoms associated with suspected acute porphyria (such as acute intermittent porphyria) requires Porphobilinogen (PBG), Urine (ARUP test code 0080260).

Specimens from patients with suspected erythropoietic protoporphyria should be carefully protected from exposure to light.
Protoporphyrin is extremely light sensitive, whereas uroporphyrin and coproporphyrin are much less sensitive.

Hotline History


CPT Codes



Component Test Code* Component Chart Name LOINC
0080433 Porphyrins, Total, Plasma/Serum 33311-2
0084037 Porphyrins, Total, Plasma/Serum, Interp. 14883-3
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please click the sidebar link to access the Interface Map.


  • Coproporphyrin
  • Protoporphyrin
  • Variegate Porphyria Porphyrin
  • VP Porphyrin
Porphyrins, Total, Plasma or Serum