Reversible myelopathy in a 34-year-old man with vitamin B12 deficiency

Sean J. Pittock, Troy A. Payne, C. Michel Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Vitamin B12 deficiency is common, with most patients lacking classic features of advanced severe deficiency. Early diagnosis and treatment prevent severe anemia and irreversible damage to the nervous system. We describe a 34-year-old man with pernicious anemia who presented with clinical and radiologic features of early myelopathy and borderline low serum levels of vitamin B12. Prompt diagnosis based on the measurement of serum methylmalonic acid and treatment with cyanocobalamin injections led to rapid resolution of clinical manifestations and magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities. We review the literature of magnetic resonance imaging in vitamin B12 deficiency myelopathy and discuss the issues relating to diagnosis and early treatment of this potentially reversible condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number62363
Pages (from-to)291-294
Number of pages4
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


  • MMA = methylmalonic acid
  • MRI = magnetic resonance imaging
  • SCD = subacute combined degeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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