Skip to Main Content

We have a new app!

Take the Access library with you wherever you go—easy access to books, videos, images, podcasts, personalized features, and more.

Download the Access App here: iOS and Android

For further information, see CMDT Part 29-18: Vitamin A Deficiency

Key Features

  • One of the most common vitamin deficiency syndromes in developing countries

  • Most common cause of blindness in developing countries

  • In the United States, occurs most commonly in older adults and patients with malabsorption conditions

Clinical Findings

  • Night blindness (early)

  • Dryness (xerosis) of conjunctivae and small white patches on the conjunctivae (Bitot spots) (early)

  • Ulceration and necrosis of the cornea (keratomalacia), perforation, endophthalmitis, and blindness (late)

  • Xerosis and hyperkeratinization of the skin

  • Loss of taste


  • Abnormalities of dark adaptation

  • Serum vitamin A levels below normal range of 30–65 mg/dL


  • Night blindness, poor wound healing, and other signs of deficiency: vitamin A, 30,000 international units orally once daily for 1 week

  • Potential antioxidant effects of beta-carotene can be achieved with supplements of 25,000–50,000 IU

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.