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Scurvy in a Child With Autism: Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Pathological Findings

Niwa, Tetsu MD; Aida, Noriko MD; Tanaka, Yukichi MD; Tanaka, Mio MD; Shiomi, Masae MD; Machida, Jiro MD

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: August 2012 - Volume 34 - Issue 6 - p 484–487
doi: 10.1097/MPH.0b013e318236c519
Radiology Corner

We present a case of scurvy in a 6-year-old boy with autism and an unbalanced diet. The patient was admitted with difficulties in walking. Magnetic resonance imaging findings of the thigh showed diffuse signal abnormality in the bone marrow, periosteum, and the femoral muscle. A biopsy specimen of the femur showed hematoma, proliferative fibroblasts, and few collagen fibers, which suggested a deficiency of vitamin C. Although recurrent periosteal hematoma may be suggestive of scurvy, this finding was subtle in the current case. It is important to be aware of this rare disease because it is easily cured with vitamin C supplementation.

*Departments of Radiology


Hemato-oncology/Regeneration Medicine

§Orthopedic Surgery, Kanagawa Children’s Medical Center, Mutsukawa, Minami-ku, Yokohama, Japan

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Tetsu Niwa, MD, Department of Radiology, Kanagawa Children’s Medical Center, 2-138-4 Mutsukawa, Minami-ku, Yokohama, 232-8555, Japan (e-mail:

Received August 15, 2011

Accepted September 8, 2011

Copyright © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.