Cerebral atrophy in a vitamin B12-deficient infant of a vegetarian mother.J Health Popul Nutr. 2014 Jun; 32(2):367-71.JH
In developed countries, vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency usually occurs in children, exclusively breastfed ones whose mothers are vegetarian, causing low body stores of vitamin B12. The haematologic manifestation of vitamin B12 deficiency is pernicious anaemia. It is a megaloblastic anaemia with high mean corpuscular volume and typical morphological features, such as hyperlobulation of the nuclei of the granulocytes. In advanced cases, neutropaenia and thrombocytopaenia can occur, simulating aplastic anaemia or leukaemia. In addition to haematological symptoms, infants may experience weakness, fatigue, failure to thrive, and irritability. Other common findings include pallor, glossitis, vomiting, diarrhoea, and icterus. Neurological symptoms may affect the central nervous system and, in severe cases, rarely cause brain atrophy. Here, we report an interesting case, a 12-month old infant, who was admitted with neurological symptoms and diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency.