[Hematological and neurological compromise due to vitamin B12 deficit in infant of a vegetarian mother: case report]

Rev Chil Pediatr. 2014 Jun;85(3):337-43. doi: 10.4067/S0370-41062014000300010.
[Article in Spanish]

Abstract

Introduction: Vitamin B12 deficiency is extremely common in strict vegetarians and their variants. Infants of vegetarian mothers have a higher risk of deficiency and are more prone to its effects.

Objective: To report a case in order to warn people about the importance of suspected vitamin B12 deficiency in children of vegetarian mothers.

Case report: A 12-month old infant, daughter of a longtime vegetarian woman, who presented neurological and hematological compromise due to vitamin B12 deficiency, is discussed. After a short period of parenteral administration of cyanocobalamin and enteral nutrition, the patient evolved with clinical and laboratory improvement, although she still had residual development delay.

Conclusions: Vitamin B12 deficiency is often not suspected by the pediatrician in healthy infants. Clinical manifestations can be nonspecific, such as apathy, food refusal and progressive impairment of psychomotor development. A nutritional anamnesis performed on the mother (with great emphasis on those strict vegetarians) to estimate her reserves in the period prior to, during and after delivery can be critical to detect the risk of this vitamin deficiency in young children.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology*
  • Developmental Disabilities / physiopathology
  • Diet, Vegetarian / adverse effects*
  • Enteral Nutrition / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Mothers
  • Pregnancy
  • Vitamin B 12 / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency / etiology

Substances

  • Vitamin B 12