Vitamin A deficiency


  • One of the most common vitamin deficiencies in developing countries
  • Most common cause of blindness in developing world
  • In US, most commonly found in conjunction with fat malabsorption syndromes (e.g. IBD, pancreatic insufficiency, celiac sprue, cystic fibrosis, laxative abuse)

Clinical Features

White patches over conjunctivae representing Bitot spots seen in Vitamin A deficiency

Differential Diagnosis

Acute Vision Loss (Noninflamed)

Emergent Diagnosis

Vitamin deficiencies


  • Eye exam
  • Serum Vitamin A level below 30–65 mg/dL


  • Early: vitamin A 30,000 IU PO daily x 1 week
  • Advanced: vitamin A 20,000 IU/kg PO daily for at least 5 days


See Also

External Links