Cranial magnetic resonance imaging findings of nutritional vitamin B12 deficiency in 15 hypotonic infants

Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2012 May;16(3):266-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2011.08.005. Epub 2011 Sep 7.


Background: Nutritional vitamin B(12) deficieny is common among infants in the developing and underdeveloped countries. There is limited information concerning neuroimaging findings in infants with vitamin B(12) deficiency in the literature.

Aims: The aim of this study is to evaluate the cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) changes and clinical characteristics of hypotonic infants due to vitamin B(12) deficiency.

Materials and methods: A total of 15 infants with neuroradiologic investigations were diagnosed with nutritional B(12) vitamin deficiency. Cranial MRI was performed on all infants.

Results: Five infants were female (33%) and the mean age of infants was 12.3 ± 5.5 months. Hypotonia and neurodevelopmental retardation were present in all patients. MRI demonstrated thinning of the corpus callosum in 6 (40%), cortical atrophy in 5 (33.3%), large sylvian fissures in 5 (33.3%), ventricular dilatation in 3 (20%), asymetric large lateral ventricle in 2 (13.3%) and delayed in myelination in 2 (13.3%) patients. Four infants had normal MRI findings.

Conclusion: Because of the importance of vitamin B(12) in the development of the brain, MRI findings may be detected and useful in infants with vitamin B(12) deficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Diseases / etiology
  • Brain Diseases / pathology
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology
  • Developmental Disabilities / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Muscle Hypotonia / etiology*
  • Muscle Hypotonia / pathology
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / pathology*