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Clin Immunol. 2004 Jul;112(1):24-9.

Vitamin E deficiency induced neurological disease in common variable immunodeficiency: two cases and a review of the literature of vitamin E deficiency.

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Department of Immunology, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals, John Radcliffe Campus, Headington, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK.


Vitamin E deficiency causes a neurological disorder characterised by sensory loss, ataxia and retinitis pigmentosa due to free radical mediated neuronal damage. Symptomatic vitamin E deficiency has been reported in genetic defects of the vitamin E transport protein and in malabsorption complicating cholestasis, abetalipoproteinaemia, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis and small bowel resection. There are no reports to date of vitamin E deficiency in patients with primary immunodeficiencies. We describe two CVID patients with the associated enteropathy who developed neurological disease because of vitamin E deficiency, suggesting a possible predisposition to developing this complication. We recommend that all CVID patients with evidence of an enteropathy be screened for vitamin E deficiency, as early detection and consequent treatment may prevent, halt or reverse the neurological sequelae.

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