Skip to main content
Vitamin B6 Deficiency A Potential Cause of Refractory Seizures in Adults
Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
  • Anthony T. Gerlach
  • Sheela Thomas
  • Stanislaw P. Stawicki
  • Melissa L. Whitmill, Wright State University
  • Steven M. Steinberg
  • Charles H. Cook
Document Type
Publication Date
Find in a Library
Catalog Record
Objective: In children, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) deficiency has been described as a cause of seizures that are refractory to conventional antiepileptic medications. We describe the clinical presentation of 3 adults with refractory seizures (later diagnosed with vitamin B6 deficiency) that resolved after pyridoxine treatment. Design: Case series. Setting: Tertiary care surgical intensive care unit. Patients: In the first case, a 54-year-old male with history of alcoholic cirrhosis developed new-onset seizures refractory to phenytoin and levetiracetam 8 days after liver transplantation. In the second case, a 59-year-old male with hepatitis C infection developed intracranial hemorrhage and new-onset seizures refractory to phenytoin, levetiracetam, and pentobarbital. The third patient is a 78-year-old male with a history of alcohol dependence who was admitted for an intraventricular bleed and developed new onset of refractory seizures. Interventions: Intravenous pyridoxine followed by oral pyridoxine. Measurement and Main Results: In all 3 cases, seizures persisted despite escalation of conventional antiepileptic medications but resolved within 2 days of pyridoxine supplementation. In each case, low serum pyridoxal 5′-phosphate concentrations normalized with pyridoxine administration. Conclusions: Although refractory seizures caused by vitamin B6 deficiency are rare in adults, it should be considered in critically ill adult patients with refractory seizures.
Citation Information
Anthony T. Gerlach, Sheela Thomas, Stanislaw P. Stawicki, Melissa L. Whitmill, et al.. "Vitamin B6 Deficiency A Potential Cause of Refractory Seizures in Adults" Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Vol. 35 Iss. 2 (2011) p. 272 - 275 ISSN: 0148-6071
Available at: