The following information may help to address your question:
Most porphyrias are inherited conditions with either an autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance. Porphyria can also be caused by environmental factors such as infections or exposures to certain prescription drugs. This type of porphyria is called sporadic or acquired porphyria.
Many of the signs and symptoms of porphyria are similar to those of other more common diseases. Also, because porphyria is rare, many doctors have not seen cases of the disorder before, making it more difficult to diagnosis. Because porphyria's signs and symptoms usually aren't distinctive, laboratory tests are required to make a definitive diagnosis and to determine which type of porphyria is involved.
If your doctor suspects porphyria, he or she may recommend the following tests:
Some of the other tests that may be done include: