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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2006  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 139-143

Serum vitamin a levels in malnutrition with clinico-pathologic correlations in northeast Nigeria


Department o f Paediatrics, College of M edical Sciences, University o f M aiduguri, Borno S tate, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
K I Airede
Department of Paediatrics, Usmanu Danfodiyo University T eaching Hospital , P.M.B. 2370, Sokoto, Sokoto State
Nigeria
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Objective: With paucity of reports In this area of Nigeria, the study was aimed at prospectively quantifying the baseline and longitudinal vitamin A status in Protein Energy Malnutrition and Controls. The influence of vitamin A supplementation would also be deciphered. Methodology: A prospective cohort study which included 50 each of Kwashiorkor and Marasmus hospitalized children aged 7 months to 5 years. 60 well nourished children that were age and gender matched served as a control cohort . We evaluated serum retinol levels using HPLC. Clinical and epidemiological variables were assessed. Results: Mean (SD) serum retinol levels were significantly lower in PEMs than controls (Kwashiorkor , 0.75 (0.16p.MOL/L; Marasmus, 1 .12(0.17), Controls, 2.77(0.25 ); p<0.001). The frequency of inadequate serum retinol levels ( <1 .05 umol/1) was 100% In the Kwashiorkor Group on Day 1, and reduced to 13.9% by Day 16 of vitamin A Supplementation. There were atistically significant associations between serum retinol deficiency and the clinical and epidemiological variables studied. More severe PEM was observed In 14!50 (28%) of the Kwashiorkor Group. There was no statistically signiflcant association between plasma retinol Inadequacy after recovery and degree of malnutrition. Conclusion: Serum retinol levels were significantly low In PEMs than controls. There was statistically significant association between the deficiency of serum retinol and the clinical and epidemiological variables studied. Adjuvant use of high-dose vitamin A is recommended.


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