Vitamin A deficiency–associated corneal perforation in a boy with autism spectrum disorder: A case report and literature review

Shunichi Adachi, Michiko Torio, Sayaka Okuzono, Yoshitomo Motomura, Yuko Ichimiya, Yuri Sonoda, Jyunya Nagata, Misato Okamoto, Shouji Noutomi, Masafumi Sanefuji, Yasunari Sakai, Shouichi Ohga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Malnutrition and vitamin deficiency are growing concerns in the clinical management of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This case report presents a boy with ASD who developed vitamin A deficiency during follow-up. Case report: A 7-y-old boy had been diagnosed with ASD and developmental delay at age 18 mo. He developed convulsions associated with hypocalcemia and vitamin D deficiency at 3 y of age. Although vitamin D supplementation was continued, he was only able to eat rice, green tea, and fried potatoes from 3 y of age to age 7 y. He had started rubbing his eyes and had refused to open his eyes 9 mo before. An ophthalmologic examination showed bilateral corneal ulcers and right corneal perforation. Vitamin A was immediately supplemented with a nasogastric tube; however, his right eye was surgically enucleated against the persistent infection. Literature review: A search of the relevant literature from 1993 to 2020 identified 11 cases of patients with ASD (5–17 y of age) who developed vitamin A deficiency owing to malnutrition. Only 4 cases (36%) had a full recovery in visual acuity. Conclusion: Vitamin A deficiency frequently causes irreversible visual impairment in children with ASD. Vigilant monitoring of vitamin levels prevents unfavorable outcomes in children with ASD and difficulty in food intake.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111275
JournalNutrition
Volume90
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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