Clinical Case Report | Published:

Severe scurvy: an underestimated disease

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition volume 69, pages 10761077 (2015) | Download Citation

Abstract

Scurvy is one of the oldest diseases in human history. Nowadays, although scurvy tends to become a forgotten disease in developed country, rare cases still occur, especially in people undergoing extreme diet, old people or children with poor diet and patients with malabsorption. We describe three cases of scurvy. The first case is a patient diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, the second one is in a context of anorexia nervosa and drug addiction, and the third case is in a context of social isolation. Early recognition of scurvy can be difficult because symptoms may appear nonspecific and can mimic more common conditions. In any patient with spontaneous hematoma and purpura, in the context of nutritional disorder, scurvy should be systematically considered. As this disease can lead to severe complications, such as bone pain, heart failure or gastrointestinal symptoms, nothing should delay vitamin C supplementation, which is a simple and rapidly effective treatment.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    , , , . Past, present and future. Eur J Int Med 2011; 22: 147–152.

  2. 2.

    , , , . Scurvy: a disease almost forgotten. Int J Dermatol 2006; 45: 909–913.

  3. 3.

    , , , , . Clinical manifestations of ascorbic acid deficiency in man. Am J Clin Nutr 1971; 24: 432–443.

  4. 4.

    . Scurvy: reemergence of nutritional deficiencies. Can Fam Physician 2008; 54: 1403–1406.

  5. 5.

    , , , . Severe scurvy after gastric bypass surgery and a poor postoperative diet. J Clin Med Res 2012; 4: 135–137.

  6. 6.

    , , . Le scorbut n’a pas disparu: histoire d’une maladie réémergente. Rev Med Interne 2005; 26: 885–890.

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Dermatology, Hospital Claude-Huriez, University Hospital of Lille, Lille, France

    • M Levavasseur
    • , C Becquart
    • , E Pape
    • , D Staumont-Sallé
    •  & E Delaporte
  2. Department of Nutrition, University Hospital of Lille, Lille, France

    • M Pigeyre
    •  & J Rousseaux
  3. Celiobe, Private Hospital La Louvière, Générale de Santé, Lille, France

    • J Rousseaux

Authors

  1. Search for M Levavasseur in:

  2. Search for C Becquart in:

  3. Search for E Pape in:

  4. Search for M Pigeyre in:

  5. Search for J Rousseaux in:

  6. Search for D Staumont-Sallé in:

  7. Search for E Delaporte in:

Competing interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to M Levavasseur.

About this article

Publication history

Received

Revised

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/ejcn.2015.99

Further reading