Macro-B12 masking B12 deficiency

Bruce H R Wolffenbuttel*, Anneke C Muller Kobold, Agata Sobczyńska-Malefora, Dominic J Harrington

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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In clinical practice, the finding of an elevated serum B12 concentration is often the consequence of supplementation with B12 in either oral form or injections. Also, elevated serum B12 may be associated with underlying disorders, like liver diseases or a (haematologic) malignancy. Only a few studies have shown that it may also be the consequence of complex formation of B12-vitamin binding proteins with immunoglobulins, the so-called macro-B12 We describe a young woman who previously was diagnosed with B12 deficiency, and in whom, after cessation of B12 injection treatment, neurologic symptoms re-appeared, and despite this, repeatedly elevated serum B12 concentrations above the upper limit of the assay were found. We demonstrated that this was caused by the presence of macro-B12, which not only resulted in erroneous and longstanding elevated serum B12, but also masked her underlying B12 deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages3
JournalBMJ Case Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13-Jan-2022


  • Female
  • Humans
  • Vitamin B 12/therapeutic use
  • Vitamin B 12 Deficiency/diagnosis
  • Vitamins

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