December 1968

Vitamin A Deficiency With Xerophthalmia and Night Blindness in Cystic Fibrosis

Author Affiliations

From the departments of ophthalmology (Drs. R. Petersen and Robb) and medicine (Dr. V. Petersen), Children's Hospital Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Am J Dis Child. 1968;116(6):662-665. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1968.02100020666016

THE complication of vitamin A deficiency was noted in early descriptions of cystic fibrosis as a clinical entity.1,2 Treatment aimed at improving intestinal absorption in this disease and availability of water miscible vitamin A have made clinically evident vitamin A deficiency rare. This report describes an adolescent girl with cystic fibrosis who exhibited xerophthalmia and night blindness when first seen. Light and electron microscopic examination of the conjunctiva as well as serial dark adaptation studies and vitamin A determinations are presented to document the deficiency and its response to pancreatic extract (Viokase) therapy.

Report of a Case  This 16-year-old girl (CH No. 377211) was referred to the Nutrition Clinic in September 1966 by a social agency. She had been seen in our outpatient department between 10 and 15 months of age for what was thought to be allergic diarrhea, and then was lost to follow-up. At 10 years

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