Diffuse soft tissue emphysema in anorexia nervosa: A case report

Authors

  • Liang-Yu Lin MD,

    1. Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Ching-Fai Kwok MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, 112
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  • Kam-Tsun Tang MD,

    1. Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Low-Tone Ho MD,

    1. School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Hong-Da Lin MD

    1. Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
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Abstract

Objective

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is an eating disorder that occurs mainly among young females and its prevalence has increased in recent decades.

Methods

We reported a patient with AN with spontaneous diffuse soft tissue emphysema and bicytopenia, both of which are very rare complications of AN. Our patient, a 20-year-old woman, had lost 41.6% of her previous body weight within 9 months. Her body mass index was 10.8 and amenorrhea had persisted for 5 months.

Results

After admission, she was diagnosed with AN-restrictive subtype. She was noted to have crunching sounds in the neck and upper chest wall during hospitalization. A chest X-ray and chest computed tomography scan both revealed diffuse soft tissue emphysema including subcutaneous emphysema, pneumomediastinum, and pneumoretroperitoneum.

Discussion

Diffuse soft tissue emphysema improved gradually and completely resolved on the 21st day of hospitalization. This condition seems to be benign and only a short period of hospitalization is required. © 2005 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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