Severe vitamin B12 deficiency with pancytopenia, hepatosplenomegaly and leukoerythroblastosis in two Syrian refugee infants: a challenge to differentiate from acute leukaemia

BMJ Case Rep. 2014 Mar 5;2014:bcr2014203742. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2014-203742.


Megaloblastic anaemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency is rare in childhood. However, as most cases are due to maternal insufficiency, it is mainly seen in breastfed infants especially when the mother's socioeconomic status is low and the nutrition is not adequate. We present case of two Syrian refugee infants with severe vitamin B12 deficiency with pancytopenia, hepatosplenomegaly and leukoerythroblastosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Myelophthisic / diagnosis
  • Anemia, Myelophthisic / etiology*
  • Anemia, Pernicious / complications
  • Anemia, Pernicious / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Hepatomegaly / diagnosis
  • Hepatomegaly / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pancytopenia / diagnosis
  • Pancytopenia / etiology*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / diagnosis*
  • Refugees*
  • Splenomegaly / diagnosis
  • Splenomegaly / etiology*
  • Syria
  • Turkey