The hematology of anorexia nervosa

Authors

  • Gero Hütter MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Internal Medicine III Hematology, Oncology, and Transfusion Medicine, Charité Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, Germany
    • Department of Internal Medicine III Hematology, Oncology, and Transfusion Medicine, Charité Campus Benjamin Franklin, Hindenburgdamm 30, D-12203 Berlin, Germany
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  • Susanne Ganepola MD,

    1. Department of Internal Medicine III Hematology, Oncology, and Transfusion Medicine, Charité Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, Germany
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  • Wolf-K. Hofmann MD

    1. Department of Internal Medicine III Hematology, Oncology, and Transfusion Medicine, Charité Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, Germany
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Abstract

Objective:

Changes of the peripheral blood cell count in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) are frequent. Anemia and leukopenia are observed in one-third of these patients. Examination of the bone marrow reveals in almost 50% of the patients with AN signs of bone marrow atrophy and can additionally suffer from a gelatinous bone marrow transformation.

Method:

Published studies and investigations concerning hematological changes in patients with AN were reviewed.

Results:

Anemia and mild neutropenia are detectable in almost one-third of these patients, whereas thrombocytopenia is rather uncommon. The exact mechanism for these findings is still unclear, but 50% of AN-patients with hematological changes display morphological signs of partial bone marrow atrophy.

Discussion:

Changes of the peripheral blood cell count in patients with AN is a frequent observation but the peripheral blood cell count cannot predict the severity of bone marrow atrophy. All hematological and morphological alterations disappear completely and rapidly after sufficient refeeding. © 2008 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2009

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