Pneumomediastinum simulating a panic attack in a patient with anorexia nervosa
Article first published online: 6 DEC 2002
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 33, Issue 1, pages 104–107, January 2003
How to Cite
Karim, A., Ahmed, S. and Rossoff, L. (2003), Pneumomediastinum simulating a panic attack in a patient with anorexia nervosa. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 33: 104–107. doi: 10.1002/eat.10114
- Issue published online: 6 DEC 2002
- Article first published online: 6 DEC 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 FEB 2002
- panic attack;
- esophageal tear
Pneumomediastinum is a rare complication of anorexia nervosa. Although the mechanism is unknown, severe malnutrition may affect lung mechanics by altering the connective tissue, predisposing to pneumomediastinum.
We describe a young male with anorexia nervosa and panic disorder who presented with symptoms similar to those of a panic attack and was diagnosed with spontaneous pneumomediastinum.
This case illustrates the importance of considering pneumomediastinum in the differential diagnosis of panic attack in patients with eating disorders.
Although spontaneous pneumomediastinum has a generally benign course, it must be differentiated from the potentially life-threatening secondary pneumomediastinum due to an esophageal tear. © 2002 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 33: 104–107, 2003.