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Transient Selective Vitamin B12 Malabsorption in an Adult

Ann Intern Med. 1964;60(4):665-672. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-60-4-665
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Acquired, isolated inability to absorb vitamin B12 in the presence of intrinsic factor and normal intestinal anatomy has not been described in the adult, in contrast to the congenital cyanocobalamin malabsorption occasionally seen in children (1). We have observed an elderly patient with a selective vitamin B12 absorption defect which disappeared spontaneously after 15 months of observation. The investigation of the mechanism of this disorder and its differentiation from known causes for isolated B12 malabsorption form the basis of this report.

CASE REPORT: A 64-year-old Puerto Rican male was admitted to Milwaukee County Hospital in September, 1961, with a 2-week


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