SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • pancreatitis;
  • eating disorders;
  • bulimia nervosa;
  • death;
  • mortality

Abstract

Objective

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.

Method

The study includes autopsy results and a review of the literature.

Results

Pancreatitis usually presents with abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Discussion

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.