Vitamin K deficiency - Late onset intracranial haemorrhage

AYDINLI N., Çitak A., Çalişkan M., Karaböcüoǧlu M., UĞUR BAYSAL S., Özmen M.

European Journal of Paediatric Neurology, vol.2, no.4, pp.199-203, 1998 (Scopus) identifier identifier identifier


A retrospective study is presented of the clinical features and outcome of late onset haemorrhagic disease due to vitamin K deficiency in 11 babies who were admitted to the emergency or child neurology unit during a 4-year period (January 1994-December 1997). The disease occurred in infants between 30 and 119 days of age (mean: 56 ± 24 days). None of them received vitamin K after birth and all were breastfed. The presenting complaints were seizures (91%), drowsiness (82%), poor sucking (64%), vomiting (46%), fever (46%), pallor (46%), acute diarrhoea (27%), irritability and high-pitched cry (18%). On examination, tense or bulging fontanelle (73%), anisocoria (36%), weak neonatal reflexes (18%), cyanoses (18%) were the most frequent findings. The localizations of the intracranial haemorrhage were as follows: intracerebral (91%), subarachnoid (46%), subdural (27%), and intraventricular (27%). No fatality was observed. However, after a follow-up period ranging from 6 to 48 months (mean: 21 ± 13 months); only three (27%) infants remained neurologically normal. Seizure disorders (73%), severe psychomotor retardation (46%), cerebral palsy (46%) and microcephaly (46%) were observed in the remainder. Hydrocephalus developed in three (27%) babies but none of them required shunt replacement. The value is emphasized of vitamin K prophylaxis in the newborn to reduce the incidence of late onset intracranial haemorrhage and handicap in children.