SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • anorexia nervosa;
  • pneumomediastinum;
  • pneumothorax;
  • soft-tissue emphysema;
  • autodestructive behavior

Abstract

Objective

We describe the case of a 20-year-old female patient suffering from anorexia nervosa since the age 15 of years. When admitted, she was 168 cm tall with a weight of 35 kg (body mass index [BMI] = 12.4). A week after admission, the patient complained of retrosternal pain, and a few hours later she developed extensive soft-tissue emphysema.

Methods

The X-ray picture of her thorax showed left-hand supraclavicular and infraclavicular emphysema, extensive emphysema in both sides of the soft tissue of the throat, a left-hand apical pneumothorax (4 mm), and a pneumomediastinum.

Results

We discuss the extent to which these symptoms are interrelated in the sense of a causal nexus.

Conclusion

We ruled out any other differential-diagnostic etiopathogenic factors and concluded that the cause of our patient's soft-tissue emphysema, pneumothorax, and pneumomediastinum might well be autodestructive behavior. © 2005 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.