Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences

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Maternal vitamin D deficiency: a culprit for hypocalcaemia induced myocardial failure in a four-month old infant: a case report from Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Ethiopia

Tamirat Moges, Yemisirach Shiferaw, Tigist Heye


Background: A rare but reversible cause of dilated cardiomyopathy occurs in infants born to vitamin D deficient mothers due to hypocalcaemia.

Case Report: We report a case of dilated cardiomyopathy due to hypocalcaemia secondary to maternal vitamin D deficiency in an infant presented with seizure disorder and heart failure. This was a four-month old female infant with respiratory distress and acute heart failure. The cause of her cardiac failure was dilated cardiomyopathy. Concomitant community acquired pneumonia was diagnosed on chest X ray. Despite treatment, the infant's clinical condition worsened. The mother was found to be house-bound, dark skinned and veiled while going outside of home. Laboratory studies revealed hypomagnesaemia and hypocalcaemia. The vitamin D levels of both the infant and the mother were found to be low. The infant was treated for the deficiency state until her cardiac condition fully recovered.

Conclusion: This case report demonstrated the direct relationship between maternal vitamin D deficiency and the infant’s acute heart failure. It also highlighted the importance of vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy in order to prevent the cardiac complication of maternal vitamin D deficiency in the infants.

Keywords: Dilated cardiomyopathy, Hypocalcaemia, vitamin D, cardiac failure
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