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Keywords:

  • anorexia nervosa;
  • autopsy;
  • death;
  • Sheehan's syndrome

Abstract

Objectives:

To illustrate the close association between a disturbed psychosocial up-bringing, frequent physical illness, and medical interventions.

Method:

We report a case of a 44-year-old woman with anorexia nervosa (AN) and Sheehan's syndrome who died as a result of a toxic cardiac arrest.

Results:

The patient presented with a BMI of 13.6 kg/m2. She refused any intensive-care treatment and died from toxic cardiac arrest. Postmortem examination revealed an acute gastroenterocolitis.

Discussion:

The history of this patient illustrates how psychological deprivation led to eating disturbances, early pregnancy, and the life-threatening delivery of twins. This resulted in a diagnosis of Sheehan's syndrome, hepatitis C, and a ventricular ulcer. A psychosocial event triggered a late exacerbation of her AN. A helpful alliance between patient and staff did not occur as she rejected it. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2010.