Scurvy: An Important Differential Diagnosis Of Sepsis In Young Children

Anand Ajmera, Mahendra Solanki


Background: Scurvy a disease, particularly in people with peculiar dietary habits, is cause by Vitamin C deficiency, which is required for collagen synthesis. Impaired collagen synthesis affects skin, cartilage, dentine, osteoid and capillary blood vessels. We present a case of a three year old child having scurvy who presented like sepsis with aim to create awareness among the clinicians about the disease.

Case report: 3 year old female child presented to us with pseudoparalysis, which was misdiagnosed and mistreated as bilateral thigh sepsis for which surgery was also attempted.   Radiographs and MRI of the child showed widening of epiphysis, sclerosis of epiphyseal rim, osteopenia and subperiosteal hemorrhages respectively, confirming diagnosis of Scurvy. She was healed fully on Vitamin C supplementation in therapeutic doses.

Conclusion: Malnutrition is rampant in young children in our country and hence nutritional scurvy should be kept in mind as a differential diagnosis of sepsis. This case report also tries to create awareness among the clinicians about the disease and ways to prevent Vitamin C deficiency.


Scurvy, Vitamin C Deficiency, Children

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