Pancreatitis causing death in bulimia nervosa
Article first published online: 22 JUL 2004
Copyright © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 36, Issue 2, pages 234–237, September 2004
How to Cite
Birmingham, C. L. and Boone, S. (2004), Pancreatitis causing death in bulimia nervosa. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 36: 234–237. doi: 10.1002/eat.20026
- Issue published online: 22 JUL 2004
- Article first published online: 22 JUL 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 DEC 2003
- eating disorders;
- bulimia nervosa;
We report the case of a 19-year-old woman with bulimia nervosa who died of acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis. Our objective is to raise awareness that because the symptoms of both conditions are very similar, the pre-existence of an eating disorder should not distract physicians from the possibility that potentially lethal acute pancreatitis may coexist.
The study includes autopsy results and a review of the literature.
Pancreatitis usually presents with abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
In patients with eating disorders who may already have exhibited these symptoms pancreatitis may not be considered. Elevated serum amylase values may occur in subjects with bulimia nervosa without pancreatitis. If the serum amylase value is elevated, pancreatitis can be confirmed by measuring the levels of serum lipase, trypsinogen, pancreatic isoenzyme of amylase, or by abdominal computerized tomography (CT). © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 36: 234–237, 2004.