Scurvy: A rare cause of haemarthrosis

Patrick Marquardt, Ganesh Raman, Yu Min Shen, David H. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A male in his 60s with a history of previously treated locally advanced head and neck cancer presented to the emergency department with atraumatic left knee pain and upper and lower extremity ecchymoses that had been present for 3 weeks. His initial laboratory results showed a normocytic anaemia, normal platelet count, slightly abnormal coagulation studies and normal inflammatory markers. Arthrocentesis of the left knee revealed haemarthrosis, and additional laboratory workup found an undetectable serum vitamin C (ascorbic acid) level consistent with scurvy. It was determined that scurvy had predisposed the patient to injury, leading to haemarthrosis. Following vitamin C supplementation, dietary and activity modifications, and acetaminophen as needed, the patient's serum vitamin C level normalised and his left knee pain and swelling improved. Scurvy is a rare cause of haemarthrosis, but it should be recognised in at-risk patients since treatment is effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere244594
JournalBMJ Case Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 7 2022


  • connective tissue disease
  • knee injuries
  • vitamins and supplements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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