Monday, December 29, 2014

Pellagra

Pellagra

Definition: 

Pellagra is a disorder caused by defi ciency of nicotinic acid (niacin, vitamin B3) or its precursor, tryptophan.


CAUSE

● Dietary defi ciency (alcoholism, malabsorption, anorexia nervosa, socioeconomic deprivation)
● Carcinoid tumors (excessive use of tryptophan, which produces serotonin)


PHYSICAL FINDINGS AND CLINICAL PRESENTATION

● The skin eruption is photosensitive. An initial, painful, sunburn-like erythema subsides to leave a dusky brownish discoloration, with a dry scaly appearance .
● Other features sometimes present include cheilosis, glossitis, angular stomatitis, and oral or perianal sores.


TREATMENT

Legs and feet of a patient with niacin deficiency. A, Before therapy. B, After therapy.
● Nutritional supplementation with niacin will improve the appearance of skin lesions .

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