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Vitamin B12 deficiency in a 9-month-old boy


We present a 9-month-old boy with megaloblastic anaemia, neutropenia and hypogammaglobulinaemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency. The deficiency was secondary to prolonged exclusive breastfeeding with inadequate nutritional amounts of vitamin B12 from the mother. There were no clinical or biological signs of maternal anaemia or macrocytosis. Treatment with oral vitamin B12 rapidly improved the biological findings of the child. Vitamin B12 deficiency should be considered in infants older than 2 months presenting with failure to thrive, neurocognitive retardation or even pancytopenia and hypogammaglobulinaemia, even in the absence of any signs of maternal anaemia or macrocytosis. Therefore, evaluation of vitamin B12 status during pregnancy and lactation is necessary in order to prevent B12 deficiency and its possible long-term effects in infants. Conclusion: Further studies should be conducted to evaluate the optimal oral dosage of vitamin B12 in children since limited data on the use of oral B12 substitution are available.

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Correspondence to Christine Quentin.

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Quentin, C., Huybrechts, S., Rozen, L. et al. Vitamin B12 deficiency in a 9-month-old boy. Eur J Pediatr 171, 193–195 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-011-1577-4

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  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Megaloblastic anaemia
  • Neutropenia
  • Hypogammaglobulinemia