Scurvy: forgotten but definitely not gone

J Pediatr Health Care. 2009 Nov-Dec;23(6):405-15. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2008.10.008. Epub 2009 Feb 10.


Scurvy, a disease of vitamin C deficiency, is purportedly rare in the United States yet frequently may be misdiagnosed. Presenting symptoms include bone pain, limping, rashes, or spongy bleeding gingiva. These symptoms mimic many other disorders, which often results in numerous unnecessary, invasive, and expensive procedural investigations. The strongest indication of a scurvy diagnosis is the dramatic response to the administration of vitamin C. This case report demonstrates the complexities involved in determining the cause of one child's symptoms. A thorough nutritional history and a shrewd clinician are essential to the early diagnosis and treatment of scurvy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Scurvy / diagnosis*
  • Scurvy / physiopathology