Scurvy in a child with autism: magnetic resonance imaging and pathological findings

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2012 Aug;34(6):484-7. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0b013e318236c519.


We present a case of scurvy in a 6-year-old boy with autism and an unbalanced diet. The patient was admitted with difficulties in walking. Magnetic resonance imaging findings of the thigh showed diffuse signal abnormality in the bone marrow, periosteum, and the femoral muscle. A biopsy specimen of the femur showed hematoma, proliferative fibroblasts, and few collagen fibers, which suggested a deficiency of vitamin C. Although recurrent periosteal hematoma may be suggestive of scurvy, this finding was subtle in the current case. It is important to be aware of this rare disease because it is easily cured with vitamin C supplementation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Autistic Disorder / complications*
  • Autistic Disorder / pathology*
  • Child
  • Femur / abnormalities
  • Hematoma / etiology
  • Hematoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Scurvy / etiology*
  • Scurvy / pathology*
  • Thigh / abnormalities


  • Ascorbic Acid