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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2001 October;136(5):389-93

Copyright © 2001 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Acquired zinc deficiency in a premature breastfed infant

Cambiaghi S., Sala F., Cavalli R., Gelmetti C.

Università degli Studi - Milano Istituto di Scienze Dermatologiche, IRCCS Policlinico


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The inherited form of zinc deficiency is acrodermatitis enteropathica, a life-long autosomal recessive disorder in which serum zinc level is low due to inadequate absorption. Acquired or symptomatic forms of zinc deficiency in the newborn have been described. These are more likely to occur in low birth-weight preterm infants or in newborns who are exclusively breast-fed by mothers with low zinc concentration in their breast milk. Clinical manifestations of inherited and acquired zinc deficiencies are quite similar. However, in acrodermatits enteropathica breast-feding protects the child from the clinical development of the disorder while in acquired zinc deficiency it does not. Differentiation between the two forms is useful since in acquired zinc deficiency weaning and short term zinc supplementation result in complete cure of the disorder.

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