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Severe Vitamin B12 Deficiency in an Infant Associated With a Maternal Deficiency and a Strict Vegetarian Diet

Weiss, Rachel MD*; Fogelman, Yacov MD; Bennett, Michael MBBS, FRCP, FRCPath

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: April 2004 - Volume 26 - Issue 4 - p 270-271
Clinical and Laboratory Observations

The authors present a case of severe megaloblastic anemia and neurologic damage due to vitamin B12 deficiency in a 6-month-old infant. The cause of the vitamin deficiency was a maternal dietary deficiency because of a strict vegetarian diet and prolonged breast-feeding. The importance of early recognition of significant maternal vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy and lactation in vegetarians is emphasized so that appropriate supplementation can be given and irreversible neurologic damage in the infant prevented.

From the *Department of Family Medicine, Ha'Emek Medical Center, Afula, Israel; †Leumit Health Services and Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel; and ‡Department of Haematology, Ha'Emek Medical Center, Afula, Israel.

Received for publication August 2003; accepted January 2004.

Reprints: Dr. Michael Bennett, Department of Haematology, Ha'Emek Medical Center, Afula, Israel (e-mail:

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.