Cerebral Atrophy in a Vitamin B12-deficient Infant of a Vegetarian Mother

Celebi Kocaoglu, Fatih Akın, Hüseyin Çaksen, Saltuk Buğra Böke, Şükrü Arslan, Serhat Aygün


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.

Key words: Cerebral atrophy; Developmental regression; Failure to thrive; Macrocytic anaemia; Vitamin B12; Turkey

Full Text: PDF