Childhood Scurvy: A Nearly Extinct Disease Posing a New Diagnostic Challenge, a Case Report

J Trop Pediatr. 2020 Apr 1;66(2):231-233. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmz059.


Scurvy is seldom encountered in modern day clinical practice. Children can present with nonspecific features which can mimic several other common conditions. We describe here a four-year-old child who presented with severe pain and weakness of bilateral lower limbs and found to be severely malnourished. The diagnosis of scurvy was suspected in the context of underlying malnutrition after excluding other ominous pathologies. Pathognomic radiological changes clinched the diagnosis, and the best supportive evidence was the dramatic response to vitamin C supplementation.

Keywords: children; malnutrition; pseudo-paralysis; scurvy; vitamin C; weakness.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Ascorbic Acid Deficiency / complications*
  • Ascorbic Acid Deficiency / drug therapy
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Leg / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Malnutrition / complications*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Radiography
  • Scurvy / diagnosis*
  • Scurvy / diagnostic imaging
  • Scurvy / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use


  • Vitamins
  • Ascorbic Acid