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Eur J Pediatr. 1997 Dec;156(12):949-51.

Vitamin A deficiency and nocturnal vision in teenagers with cystic fibrosis.

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Service de pédiatrie 1, Hôpital d'enfants, Dijon, France.


The aim of this study was to document plasma retinol status and nocturnal vision in ten eutrophic adolescents with cystic fibrosis (CF) receiving daily retinol supplementation. Plasma retinol, alpha and beta carotenes and retinol binding protein were measured in ten clinically stable CF patients (mean age: 14.3 years; Shwachman score: 80-100). Nocturnal vision evaluation was performed with a Beyne optometer. Plasma retinol (mean 0.42 +/- 0.16 mg/l), alpha carotene and beta carotene levels were below the lower limit of normal in all but one patient. Five out of ten patients with normal standard opthalmological examination presented a poor (n = 3 patients) or a pathological (n = 2) dark adaptation test. These two patients showed a dramatic increase in nocturnal vision after 1 year of adapted retinol supplementation.


Low vitamin A levels occur frequently in clinically stable, eutrophic and retinol supplemented CF adolescents. Since vitamin A deficiency is associated with poor nocturnal vision and since this pattern can be reversed by adapted retinol supplementation, we recommend monitoring plasma vitamin A levels in CF patients and evaluation of dark adaptation in retinol deficient patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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