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October 1963

Chronic Hypervitaminosis A: Report of a Case in an Adult

Author Affiliations


Resident in Internal Medicine (Dr. Soler-Bechara); Chief Resident in Internal Medicine (Dr. Soscia).

From the Department of Medicine, The St. Vincent's Hospital of the City of New York.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(4):462-466. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860040058003

Introduction  Hypervitaminosis A has been described in seven adults since Josephs' first report of a case in a young child in 1944.1 Since then 36 well-documented cases in infants and young children have been reported.2 Knudson and Rothman3 divide hypervitaminosis A into acute and chronic forms as they exist in infants and adults. The acute is self-limited and occurs subsequent to the ingestion of a large single dose of vitamin A. Rodahl and Moore 4 in 1942 described the toxic symptoms of acute hypervitaminosis A in Arctic explorers; this hypervitaminosis A resulted from ingestion of polar bear liver. The chronic form may exist for years without recognition. All adult cases thus far described in the medical literature are of the chronic type.5The present-day sales of vitamins emphasize the awareness that must be exerted by physicians in the consideration of this clinical entity. Drugstore sales of

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