Vitamin K Deficiency and Breast-Feeding

  • Rüdiger von Kries
Conference paper


A dietary component which is essential for hemostasis was detected some fifty years ago and was called vitamin K. The clinical relevance of this vitamin in pediatrics was studied during this period [1]. Classical hemorrhagic disease of the newborn characteristically presents with gastrointestinal, nasal, skin and circumcision bleeding during the first 7 days of life [2,3]. For many years vitamin K deficiency bleeding beyond the neonatal period appeared to be related to malabsorption and cholestasis syndromes, such as celiac disease [2], bile duct atresia, [4] and cystic fibrosis [5] only. Bleeding in these cases may be observed at any time during the course of the underlying disease unless sufficient vitamin K supplements are given [6]. An early infantile hemorrhagic syndrome due to vitamin K deficiency, was not recognized until 1970 [7,8]. This hemorrhagic syndrome is characterized by intracranial hemorrhage which accounts for more than 50% of cases and is observed mainly in the fourth to sixth week of life [2,3].


Celiac Disease Human Milk Infant Formula Milk Intake Hemorrhagic Disease 
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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rüdiger von Kries
    • 1
  1. 1.Abt. für NeonatologieUniversitäts-KinderklinikDüsseldorf 1Federal Republic of Germany

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