Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 111–119 | Cite as

Cobalamin status in children

  • Anne-Lise Bjørke-Monsen
  • Per Magne Ueland
Homocysteine and B-Vitamin Metabolism


Cobalamin and the metabolic markers methylmalonic acid and total homocysteine undergo marked changes during childhood. In breastfed infants a metabolic profile indicative of cobalamin deficiency is common. Symptoms of cobalamin deficiency in children differ with age, presenting a continuum from subtle developmental delay to life-threatening clinical conditions. The symptoms may be difficult to detect, particularly in infants, and there tends to be a diagnostic delay of several months in this age group. Several reports show that even moderate deficiency in children may be harmful, and long-term consequences of neurological deterioration may persist after cobalamin deficiency has been treated. Given the crucial role of cobalamin for normal growth and development, possible widespread infantile deficiency needs attention. Cobalamin deficiency should be considered a differential diagnosis in children with subtle symptoms, and strategies to prevent cobalamin deficiency in mothers and children should be addressed.


Exclusive Breastfeed Cobalamin Recommend Dietary Allowance Plasma tHcy Intestinal Parasite Infection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



body mass index

methylmalonyl CoA mutase

methylmalonyl coenzyme A mutase


methylmalonic acid


magnetic resonance imaging


proton-pump inhibitors


recommended dietary allowances


total homocysteine


World Health Organization


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© SSIEM and Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Clinical BiochemistryHaukeland University HospitalBergenNorway
  2. 2.Section of Pharmacology, Institute of MedicineUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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