European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 147, Issue 5, pp 472–477

The second nation-wide survey in Japan of vitamin K deficiency in infancy


  • Y. Hanawa
    • Department of PediatricsToho University School of Medicine
  • M. Maki
    • Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyAkita University School of Medicine
  • B. Murata
    • Mukoujima Health Centre
  • E. Matsuyama
    • Tokyo Kosei Nenkin Hospital
  • Y. Yamamoto
    • Central Research InstituteMeiji Milk Products Co. Ltd
  • T. Nagao
    • Department of HaematologyKanagawa Children's Medical Centre
  • K. Yamada
    • Department of Pediatrics, School of MedicineSt. Marianna University
  • I. Ikeda
    • Shizuoka Red Cross Hospital
  • T. Terao
    • Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyHamamatsu University, School of Medicine
  • S. Mikami
    • Neonatal Care UnitNara Medical College
  • K. Shiraki
    • Department of PediatricsTottori University School of Medicine
  • M. Komazawa
    • Chidren's Medical CentreNational Okayama Hospital
  • A. Shirahata
    • Department of PediatricsUniversity of Occupational and Environmental Health
  • Y. Tsuji
    • Department of PediatricsNagasaki University School of Medicine
  • K. Motohara
    • Department of PediatricsKumamoto University Medical School
  • I. Tsukimoto
    • Department of PediatricsToho University School of Medicine
  • K. Sawada
    • Department of PediatricsToho University School of Medicine
Original Investigations

DOI: 10.1007/BF00441969

Cite this article as:
Hanawa, Y., Maki, M., Murata, B. et al. Eur J Pediatr (1988) 147: 472. doi:10.1007/BF00441969


Throughout Japan a total of 543 cases of vitamin K deficiency occurring in infants over 2 weeks of age were reported from January 1981 to June 1985. Of these cases, 427 showed no obvious reasons for vitamin K deficiency; this sort of case is known as “idiopathic vitamin K deficiency in infancy”. Another 57 cases had bleeding episodes due to vitamin K deficiency associated with obvious hepatobiliary lesions, chronic diarrhoea, long-term antibiotic therapy, etc; this sort is called “secondary vitamin K deficiency in infacy”. The third group, consisting of 59 cases, was made up of the socalled “near miss” type, in which a haemorrhagic tendency, without any obvious clinical haemorrhage, was discovered by Normotest, at the time of mass screening in most cases. In the idiopathic group, 269 cases (63.0%) developed bleeding episodes between the 1st and 2nd months of age, and 387 cases (90.0%) were entirely breast-fed. Intracranial baemorrhage was observed in 353 cases (82.7%) of this group. Moreover, slight elevation of serum transaminase and direct type bilirubin levels were observed in the idiopathic group. Liver dysfunction of unknown origin may play some role in the onset of vitamin K deficiency in infancy.

Key words

Vitamin K deficiencyIntracranial haemorrhage



vitamin K


vitamin K deficiency in infancy

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988