Vitamin E deficiency induced neurological disease in common variable immunodeficiency: two cases and a review of the literature of vitamin E deficiency

Clin Immunol. 2004 Jul;112(1):24-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2004.02.001.


Vitamin E deficiency causes a neurological disorder characterised by sensory loss, ataxia and retinitis pigmentosa due to free radical mediated neuronal damage. Symptomatic vitamin E deficiency has been reported in genetic defects of the vitamin E transport protein and in malabsorption complicating cholestasis, abetalipoproteinaemia, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis and small bowel resection. There are no reports to date of vitamin E deficiency in patients with primary immunodeficiencies. We describe two CVID patients with the associated enteropathy who developed neurological disease because of vitamin E deficiency, suggesting a possible predisposition to developing this complication. We recommend that all CVID patients with evidence of an enteropathy be screened for vitamin E deficiency, as early detection and consequent treatment may prevent, halt or reverse the neurological sequelae.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / complications*
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / immunology
  • Common Variable Immunodeficiency / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / complications*
  • Nervous System Diseases / immunology
  • Nervous System Diseases / pathology
  • Vitamin E Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamin E Deficiency / immunology
  • Vitamin E Deficiency / pathology
  • Vitamin E Deficiency / therapy