Background Hypocalcemia accounts for majority of neonatal seizures reporting to the emergency ward of our hospital. In view of the above, the role of Vitamin D deficiency in causation of neonatal hypocalcemic seizures was evaluated.
Methodology A total of 60 infants with hypocalcemic seizures along with their mothers (study group) and 60 healthy breast-fed infants with their lactating mothers (control group) underwent concurrent clinical, biochemical, and hormonal evaluation to assess the calcium-vitamin D-PTH Axis.
Results Clinical and radiological features of rickets were present in 13.3% and 30.2% respectively in study infants. The mean serum 25(OH) D values in study mothers (6.54±5.32 ng/ml) and their infants (4.92±4.62 ng/ml) were significantly lower than those of control mother-infant pairs [9.06±4.78 ng/ml; 9.03±4.63 ng/ml; (p<0.001)]. Serum 25(OH) D<10 ng/ml was found in 83.3% study mothers and 90% study infants respectively while elevated PTH levels (>54 pg/ml) were seen in 59.3% mothers and 75% infants respectively. A strong positive correlation of 25(OH) D levels between mothers and their infants, was seen in both the study and control populations (P<0.001). 48 (94.1%) infants born to 51 mothers with 25 (OH) D<10 ng/ml had serum 25(OH) D<10 ng/ml in contrast to 28.7% infants born to mothers with 25(OH)D>10 ng/ml.
Conclusions Vitamin D deficiency appears to be a major cause of hypocalcemic seizures in infants. Infants born to Vitamin D deficient mothers are at significantly higher risk to develop hypocalcemic seizures.