Intracranial haemorrhage is linked to late onset vitamin K deficiency in infants aged 2–24 weeks

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Late vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB) can be serious and manifest as early onset intracranial haemorrhage (ICH). This study aimed to determine the frequency of ICH in relation to vitamin K deficiency and the outcome in infants aged two to 24 weeks.


A hospital-based study was conducted in two main tertiary hospitals in Cairo, Egypt, from May 2011 to May 2012 with 40 patients with ICH and 50 age-matched controls without ICH.


Forty patients with ICH were recruited, 19 were excluded for clinical reasons and the remaining 21 had a significantly low vitamin K level. Exclusive breast feeding (81% of patients), diarrhoea lasting more than 1 week (38.1%) and antibiotic consumption within a week before the development of ICH (57.1%) were more common in the patients than in the control group (p value>0.05, <0.01 and <0.01, respectively).


A high frequency of ICH due to late VKDB was reported in Egyptian infants aged two to 24 weeks, with poorer outcomes than international studies. A national survey is required to evaluate the timing and protective value of a second booster vitamin K dose to reduce ICH, especially in high-risk patients in this age group.

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