Vitamin D deficiency rickets in breast-fed infants presenting with hypocalcaemic seizures

Acta Paediatr. 1995 Aug;84(8):941-2. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1995.tb13798.x.


At the Aga Khan Hospital (AKUH), 65 infants presented with hypocalcaemic seizures, subsequently found to have rickets. Forty-six infants less than 6 months were totally or predominantly breast fed. In a subgroup of 15 mothers and their infants, we found very low plasma levels of 25(OH) vitamin D of < 5 micrograms/l and 7.5 +/- 3.3 micrograms/l, respectively. Neither mothers nor infants received vitamin D supplementation. Maternal vitamin D deficiency and non-supplementation in the infants were the likely causes of rickets in our patients. Prophylactic vitamin D 400 i.u. administered to infants up to 2 years and 800 i.u. to women in pregnancy and during lactation is recommended to prevent vitamin D deficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypocalcemia / etiology*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Rickets / complications*
  • Rickets / diagnosis
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Spasms, Infantile / etiology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diagnosis