Severe vitamin B12 deficiency resulting in pancytopenia, splenomegaly and leukoerythroblastosis

Eur J Haematol. 2008 May;80(5):448-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0609.2008.01043.x. Epub 2008 Jan 23.


Deficiency of vitamin B12 is a well known cause of megaloblastic anemia and pancytopenia. Splenomegaly and leukoerythroblastosis are much less well known manifestations of B12 deficiency. We report a B12 deficient female with severe pancytopenia including normocytic anemia who also had enlarged spleen and circulating nucleated red blood cells as well as circulating immature myeloid cells. Although these findings are reported in the earlier literature, more modern reviews of the subject often fail to mention this association. We review the literature on these unusual manifestations of B12 deficiency and remind clinicians that splenomegaly and erythroblastosis can serve as diagnostic clues in cases of severe megaloblastic anemia secondary to B12 deficiency.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Myelophthisic / complications*
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancytopenia / complications*
  • Splenomegaly / complications*
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / etiology*
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / pathology*
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / surgery