Physician's management of suspected vitamin B12 deficiency.Can Med Assoc J. 1980 Dec 06; 123(11):1127-30.CM
A retrospective study was undertaken to audit physician's management of patients with a low serum level of vitamin B12 who were admitted to a university-affiliated teaching hospital during 1 year. Among the 34 patients 13 were proved to have pernicious anemia or vitamin B12 malabsorption, but for 12 of them there were unnecessary delays (several days or weeks) before initiation of investigation and therapy. An additional six patients, who had low serum levels of vitamin B12 and macrocytosis, most likely had true vitamin B12 deficiency, but proper investigation was not done and they did not receive any vitamin B12 or folic acid therapy. In another nine cases unexplained low serum levels of vitamin B12 were not properly investigated, and the patients either did not receive any vitamin B12 therapy or received it without proper documentation of a deficiency. Suggestions for facilitating early detection, investigation and treatment of megaloblastic anemia or vitamin B12 deficiency are given.