Intramuscular Vitamin E Repletion in Children With Chronic Cholestasis
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Progressive spinocerebellar degeneration was identified in six children with chronic cholestatic liver disease and attributed to severe vitamin E deficiency. In addition to areflexia, ataxia, dysmetria, and diminished vibratory and position sense, three patients had pigmentary retinopathy. Abnormalities were present on electromyography, nerve conduction studies, and electroretinography. Because the vitamin E deficiency was not corrected by oral administration of massive doses of vitamin E, vitamin E was administered by the intramuscular route. With doses of 50 to 100 mg of vitamin E every three to seven days, over a 32-month interval (range, 15 to 44 months), vitamin E deficiency and abnormal red blood cell peroxide hemolysis were corrected. Other than discomfort and occasional edema at the site of injection, there were no side effects of parenteral vitamin E therapy. In several other studies intramuscular vitamin E therapy has produced significant neurologic improvement in patients with similar characteristics. In this study clinical progression of spinocerebellar degeneration was arrested but improvement could not be demonstrated despite adequate vitamin E replacement.
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