Anemia and neutropenia due to copper deficiency in enteral nutrition


Tamura H




JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr


Copper deficiency has been regarded a rare complication of total parenteral nutrition. This report describes the first known case of anemia and neutropenia caused by copper deficiency in a patient receiving long-term enteral nutrition. A 34-year-old man presented with bulbar palsy and tetraplegia after an operation for cerebellar hemorrhage on June 7, 1989. Nasopharyngeal tube feeding with a defined-formula diet (Besvion) was instituted on June 19, 1989. He developed normocytic anemia and neutropenia approximately 19 months after the initiation of the tube feeding. Serum copper and ceruloplasmin levels were markedly below normal. There were anisocytosis and erythrocyte deformities in the peripheral blood smear. Bone marrow aspirates revealed a hypocellular marrow with numerous myeloid and erythroid cells with cytoplasmic vacuoles. Because the amount of copper administered was estimated to be 2.6 to 5.1 mumol/d during the tube feeding, copper deficiency was suspected to be the cause of the hematologic disorders. The patient's daily oral copper intake was increased to 34 mumol/d. His serum copper and ceruloplasmin concentrations reached a normal level after 16 days and 23 days of copper supplementation, respectively. A marked reticulocytosis occurred after 10 days of copper supplementation, and his anemia gradually improved over the next 3 months. His blood neutrophil count also returned to normal within 2 weeks.