Transient zinc deficiency syndrome in a breast-fed infant due to decreased zinc in breast milk (type II hypozincemia of infancy): A case report and review of the literature

Wei Li Yang, Chao Kai Hsu, Sheau Chiou Chao, Ching Yuang Huang, Julia Yu Yun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Type II hypozincemia of infancy is a rare, hereditary zinc deficiency occurring in infants while exclusively on breast feeding. It is caused by defective transfer of zinc into breast milk. Only a few dozen cases have been reported. A 6-month-old, full-term, breast-fed female infant presented with a 3-week history of erythematous to dusky red papules and annular plaques over the perioral and diaper area as well as the digits. The eruption was accompanied by poor appetite and irritable crying. Serum zinc was low (4.896 μmol/L, normal = 10.71-18.36 μmol/L) in the patient but was normal in the mother. Interestingly, the zinc level in the breast milk was very low (2.142 μmol/L; normal postpartum zinc = 18.36 μmol/L at 6 months). Histopathology of a skin biopsy specimen showed spongiotic psoriasiform dermatitis with pallor of superficial keratinocytes, consistent with deficiency disease. With oral zinc sulfate supplement, her skin lesions improved significantly within 4 days. Type II hypozincemia needs to be differentiated from the classical hereditary acrodermatitis enteropathica, which typically develops symptoms after weaning because of poor intestinal absorption of zinc in the affected infants. Mutations in zinc transporter genes have been detected in SLC39A4 (Zip4) and SLC30A2 (ZnT2), respectively, in classical acrodermatitis enteropathica and type II hypozincemia. No mutation was found in these two genes in the present pedigree. Therefore, the genetic defect in our patient might involve other zinc transporter genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-70
Number of pages5
JournalDermatologica Sinica
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Transient zinc deficiency syndrome in a breast-fed infant due to decreased zinc in breast milk (type II hypozincemia of infancy): A case report and review of the literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this