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Clinical spectrum of cobalamin deficiency in Tunisia

Abstract : Purpose: the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of cobalamin (vitamin B12) deficiency in different populations of patients with clinical manifestations associated or secondary to cobalamin or folates deficiency and to analyse the demographic, clinical, paraclinical investigations in cobalamin deficient patients in Tunisia. Methods: it was a prospective (19992001) multicenter study of 604 patients divided into four groups. The first group is composed of 478 consecutive patients with anaemia and/or macrocytosis with megaloblastic haemopoiesis on bone marrow examination without myelodyslasic or malignancy signs. The second group is made up of 34 patients with unexplained neurological symptoms without the presence of anaemia. The third group was composed of 82 invidious with isolated psychiatric disorders and the 10 patients with Hashimoto thyroiditis constituted the last,group. Results: serum cobalamin level was low in 98%, 23%, 14% of cases, respectively, in the first three groups. Only one case of patients with Hashimoto thyroiditis has serum cobalamin deficiency. Pernicious anaemia (Biermer's disease) was established by dual isotope schilling examination in 103 patients among a sample of 120 serum cobalamin deficient patients (86%). The median age at presentation was 45.5 years. Severe chronic atrophic gastritis was diagnosed in 97.5% of patients with Biermer's disease. Serum antibodies against intrinsic factor and gastric parietal cells were detected in (42.5%) and (60.6%) patients, respectively; (25.5%) patients had the both types of antibodies. 23.4% patients were positive for antithyroid antibodies. Anti-nuclear antibodies were detected in 3% patients. Conclusion: an interesting finding of our study was the high frequency of cobalamin deficiency in Tunisia, particularly in relative young patients. Our patients had classic features of florid cobalamin deficiency (severe haematological manifestations and neuro-psychiatric disorders). The main underlying causes of such deficiencies were Biermer's disease. Subtle clinical manifestations should be recognized and investigated even in young patients at risk.
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https://hal-riip.archives-ouvertes.fr/pasteur-01375232
Contributor : Institut Pasteur Tunis <>
Submitted on : Monday, October 3, 2016 - 1:55:20 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, October 25, 2020 - 7:07:55 AM

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C. Maktouf, F. Bchir, H. Louzir, M. Elloumi, H. Ben Abid, et al.. Clinical spectrum of cobalamin deficiency in Tunisia. Annales de Biologie Clinique, John Libbey Eurotext, 2007, 65 (2), pp.135-142. ⟨10.1684/abc.2007.0041⟩. ⟨pasteur-01375232⟩

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