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Multiple fractures in infancy: scurvy or nonaccidental injury?

Authors Paterson C

Published 9 September 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 45—48


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Colin R Paterson
Formerly of Department of Medicine, University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland, UK

Abstract: The child with unexplained fractures has a differential diagnosis that includes nonaccidental injury but also a number of bone disorders including osteogenesis imperfecta and rickets. This paper reports a 14-month-old girl who was found to have seven fractures, several hematomas and widespread sub-periosteal reactions. She was found to have biochemical evidence of vitamin C deficiency. While nonaccidental injury could not be excluded, it seemed likely that the major cause of the fractures was scurvy. It is important to consider the whole differential diagnosis in a child with unexplained fractures.

Keywords: scurvy, vitamin C deficiency, nonaccidental injury, fractures, ascorbic acid

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