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BMJ Case Rep. 2014 May 23;2014. pii: bcr2013201982. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2013-201982.

A rare presentation of an ancient disease: scurvy presenting as orthostatic hypotension.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
2
General Internal Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

A 49-year-old man presented to hospital with severe orthostatic hypotension, gingival dysplasia and a purpuric rash involving his extremities. The orthostatic hypotension failed to respond to fluids and, on the basis of physical examination and dietary history, the patient was given a preliminary diagnosis of scurvy (ascorbic acid deficiency). Serum ascorbic acid levels were undetectable and the orthostasis was resolved within 24 h of ascorbic acid replacement. The pathogenesis of orthostatic hypotension in the setting of scurvy appears to involve impaired catecholamine synthesis and attenuated vasomotor response to α-adrenergic stimulation. We believe that this case describes a rare presentation of scurvy and highlights a previously under-reported connection between scurvy and vasomotor instability.

PMID:
24859547
PMCID:
PMC4039837
DOI:
10.1136/bcr-2013-201982
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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