Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Pediatric Neurology Practise

Günay Ç., Sarıkaya Uzan G., Özsoy Ö., Hız A. S., Yiş U.

Haydarpaşa Numune Medical Journal, vol.64, no.3, pp.377-383, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Introduction: Vitamin B12 deficiency continues to be an important health problem in developing countries with a wide spectrum of neurological and other system findings. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are essential to prevent permanent damage. In our study, we aimed to evaluate the demographic, clinical, radiological, and electrophysiological characteristics of the cases who applied to pediatric neurology outpatient clinic and had Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Methods: Among the patients presenting to the pediatric neurology department between January 2020 and June 2020, patients with Vitamin B12 deficiency were included in the study. Vitamin B12 deficiency was classified as subclinical deficiency (200–300 pg/mL), deficiency (160–199 pg/mL), and severe deficiency (<160 pg/mL). Demographic, clinical, radiological, and electrophysiological findings were analyzed.

Results: Vitamin B12 deficiency was found in 210 (21.4%) of 978 patients. The mean age was 3.3±5.1 years (1 month–17 years). About 53.3% (n: 112) of the patients were male. The most common complaints were seizures (n:59, 26.8%), headache (n:41, 18.6%), and neuromotor retardation (n:14, 6.3%). Subclinical deficiency was observed in 98 (46.7%) of the patients, deficiency in 55 (26.2%), and severe deficiency in 57 (27.1%). Nine patients (4.2%) showed improvement in symptoms after Vitamin B12 treatment, of whom the complaints were headache (n:5, 2.3%), tremor (n:2, 0.9%), forgetfulness (n:1, 0.5%), and dizziness (n:1, 0.5%).

Discussion and Conclusion: While Vitamin B12 deficiency was observed at a high rate, the complaints regressed with Vitamin B12 treatment in 4.2% of the cases. These complaints, which completely regressed with treatment, were headache,

tremor, forgetfulness, and dizziness.