SynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyReferences

View all Images (5)

Vitamin B2 deficiency
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Vitamin B2 deficiency

Contributors: Rajini Murthy MD, Abhijeet Waghray MD, Marilyn Augustine MD, Paritosh Prasad MD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is a water-soluble vitamin found in meats, fish, eggs, milk, green vegetables, yeast, and enriched foods. This vitamin is an essential co-enzyme for the metabolism of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Vitamin B2 also plays a role in steroid metabolism.

Deficiency is more common than appreciated, and vitamin B2 deficiency may coexist with other B vitamin deficiencies due to overall inadequate nutritional status. Vitamin B2 deficiency manifests with mucocutaneous findings. The characteristic oculo-orogenital syndrome is associated with vitamin B2 deficiency, along with vitamin B6 deficiency. Laboratory work may reveal a normocytic anemia.

Individuals with a restricted diet, anorexia nervosa, and those with malabsorption syndromes are at increased risk of developing riboflavin deficiency. Those who avoid dairy products or who have celiac disease, short bowel syndrome, or anorexia nervosa are also more likely to have riboflavin deficiency.

Neonatal deficiency can occur secondary to maternal deficiency during pregnancy or be associated with phototherapy for jaundice.


E53.0 – Riboflavin deficiency

20307000 – Ariboflavinosis

Look For

Subscription Required

Diagnostic Pearls

Subscription Required

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Beriberi
  • Pellagra
  • Folate deficiency
  • Vitamin B6 deficiency 
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Acquired acrodermatitis enteropathica
  • Acquired biotin deficiency
Deficiencies in vitamin B2, vitamin B6, biotin, and zinc can all present with Seborrheic dermatitis–like eruptions in intertriginous regions.

Best Tests

Subscription Required

Management Pearls

Subscription Required


Subscription Required


Subscription Required

Last Reviewed:03/06/2018
Last Updated:10/31/2022
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Vitamin B2 deficiency
A medical illustration showing key findings of Vitamin B2 deficiency (Mucosal)
Clinical image of Vitamin B2 deficiency - imageId=7395462. Click to open in gallery.
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.