Quality of life in children with erythropoietic protoporphyria: a case-control study.

Kluijver LG, Wensink D, Wagenmakers MAEM, Huidekoper HH, Witters P, Rymen D, Langendonk JG

The Journal of dermatology, 2024 Jun 26


Erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) is an inherited metabolic disease that causes painful phototoxic reactions, starting in childhood. Studies have shown a reduced quality of life (QoL) in adults with EPP, however, data on children with the disease are lacking. Since treatment for EPP is currently not registered for children, knowledge about their QoL is of crucial importance. In this prospective, case-control study, we included children from the Netherlands and Belgium diagnosed with EPP and matched to healthy controls. Previously collected EPP quality of life (EPP-QoL) data from matched adults with EPP were used. QoL scores, utilizing the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) and the disease-specific EPP-QoL, were collected. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating a higher QoL. Non-parametric tests were used to compare groups. A total of 15 cases, 13 matched healthy control children, and 15 matched adults with EPP were included. Children with EPP exhibited lower median scores in the PedsQL in both physical (cases: 87.5 (interquartile range [IQR] 77.7-96.1), controls: 99.2 [IQR 94.9-100.0], p = 0.03) and social (cases: 77.5 [IQR 69.4-86.3], controls: 97.5 [IQR 78.8-100.0], p = 0.04) domains compared to healthy children, although these differences were not statistically significant after correcting for multiple testing. The overall median EPP-QoL score for children was similar to adults with EPP (children: 44.4 [IQR 25.0-54.2], adults: 45.8 [IQR 25.7-68.1], p = 0.68). However, within the EPP-QoL subdomain on QoL, children were found to have significantly lower median scores (children: 16.7 [IQR 0.0-33.3], adults: 33.3 [IQR 33.3-62.5], p < 0.01). In conclusion, children with EPP experience a reduced QoL compared to both healthy children and adults with EPP. Ensuring treatment availability for this patient group is crucial for improving their QoL. We advocate the inclusion of children in safety and efficacy studies, to ensure availability of treatment in the future.

doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.17348