Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Infants

Akcaboy M., Malbora B., Zorlu P., Altınel E., Oguz M. M. , Senel S.

Indian Journal of Pediatrics, vol.82, no.7, pp.619-624, 2015 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 82 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12098-015-1725-3
  • Title of Journal : Indian Journal of Pediatrics
  • Page Numbers: pp.619-624
  • Keywords: Children, Infants, Maternal vitamin B12 deficiency, Vitamin B12 deficiency


© 2015, Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation.Objective: To determine different clinical presentations of vitamin B12 deficiency in infants. Methods: Infants at the age of 1–20 mo admitted to infancy clinic of authors’ hospital between January 2011–2013 with various clinical presentations due to vitamin B12 deficiency were included in the study. Hospital records of all the patients were evaluated by means of history, physical, laboratory, imaging examinations and treatment. The diagnosis was based on a nutritional history of mothers and infants, clinical findings, hematological evaluation, and low level of serum vitamin B12. Results: A total of 20 patients with a mean age of 6.65 ± 4.5 mo were included in the study. The weight and height were below the third percentile in four patients. The most common symptoms of the patients were; infections in 30 %, pallor in 25 %, hypotonia and neuro-developmental delay in 25 %, refusal to solid food or to suck in 20 %, failure to thrive in 15 %, fatigue in 10 %. Twenty-five percent of patients had neurologic signs and symptoms. Anemia was found in 16/20 (80 %) patients. Three (15 %) patients had leukopenia, 7 (35 %) had neutropenia, 2 (10 %) patients had thrombocytopenia. All of the mothers had vitamin B12 deficiency. All of the patients were fed with breast milk. Cyanocobalamin was administered to all the patients and mothers. After the treatment, clinical and laboratory findings of all the patients improved. Conclusions: Vitamin B12 deficiency should be considered in the differential diagnosis of some hematological, neurological, and gastrointestinal disturbances of infants.