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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2014 Apr;61(4):753-5. doi: 10.1002/pbc.24784. Epub 2013 Sep 21.

Vitamin B12 deficiency: the great masquerader.

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1
Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology/Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin/Children's Research Institute of the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Abstract

Vitamin B12 deficiency is rare in children, with nonspecific symptoms including failure to thrive, vomiting, anorexia, and neurologic changes with or without hematologic disturbances. The neuropathy can be severe and irreversible. We report four cases of children with B12 deficiency secondary to adult type pernicious anemia, a presumed transport protein abnormality, and a metabolic defect. All demonstrated neurologic compromise that improved after initiation of B12 therapy. Hematologic manifestations may be preceded by constitutional, gastrointestinal, or neurologic changes, and must raise concern for B12 deficiency. Therapy should be initiated promptly in this setting to prevent irreversible neuropathy.

KEYWORDS:

intrinsic factor; pernicious anemia; vitamin B12

PMID:
24115632
DOI:
10.1002/pbc.24784
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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