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Am J Med. 2001 Aug;111(2):126-9.

Oral cobalamin therapy for the treatment of patients with food-cobalamin malabsorption.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine and Nutrition, Hôpital de Hautepierre, Strasbourg, France.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The standard treatment for cobalamin (vitamin B(12)) deficiency involves regular intramuscular cobalamin injection. It has been suggested that oral cobalamin therapy may be effective for treating patients who have food-cobalamin malabsorption.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

We prospectively studied 10 patients with cobalamin deficiency and well-established food-cobalamin malabsorption who received 3000 microg or 5000 microg of oral crystalline cyanocobalamin once a week for at least 3 months. Complete blood counts and serum cobalamin, homocysteine, and folate levels were determined at baseline and after 3 months of treatment. Patients were reexamined after 6 months.

RESULTS:

After 3 months of treatment, all patients had increased hemoglobin levels (mean increase, 1.9 g/dL; 95% confidence interval: 0.9 to 3.9 g/dL;P <0.01 compared with baseline) and decreased erythrocyte cell volume (mean decrease, 7.8 fL; 95% confidence interval: 0.9 to 16.5 fL;P<0.001). However, 2 patients had only minor, if any, responses. Serum cobalamin levels were increased in all 8 patients in whom it was measured.

CONCLUSION:

Our findings suggest that moderate doses of crystalline cyanocobalamin given orally may be an effective treatment for food-cobalamin malabsorption.

PMID:
11498066
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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