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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-39

Pernicious anaemia in a 50 year old Nigerian Igbo woman

Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Vincent Ikeh
Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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A fifty year old Nigerian Igbo woman presented with subacute combined degeneration of the cord, hyperpigmentated spots on the palms and soles, white eye lashes, grey hairs, clonic-tonic convulsions and heart failure. She had had intractable anaemia despite multiple blood transfusions and hematinics for more than two years. Subsequent clinical observations and investigations showed the patient to have pernicious anaemia (PA). This metabolic anaemia is considered rare in the Africans and florid multi-organ involvement has rarely been reported in the African. It is however associated in the blacks with high morbidity and mortality due to the fact that the illness is often misdiagnosed and patients present late for diagnoses and treatment. In the case of our patient, the clinical course was reversed with vitamin B12 treatment. The protean clinical presentations, the use of available and affordable investigations and the dramatic response to parenteral vitamin B12 therapy are presented.

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