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European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 54–57 | Cite as

Pericardial effusions in anorexia nervosa

  • J. Frölich
  • A. von Gontard
  • G. Lehmkuhl
  • E. Pfeiffer
  • U. Lehmkuhl
ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTION

Abstract

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that may be accompanied by cardiac symptoms of varying severity. So far disturbances like arrhythmias, mitral valve prolapse and loss of cardial ventricle mass have been described. Other somatic complications consist of electrolyte and acid–base imbalances, which in turn influence cardiac function. Between 1990 and 1999 we observed ten case reports from in-patient anorexic female adolescents, who developed pericardial effusions in the course of their illness. The diagnosis and course was revealed by echocardiography. No signs of heart failure could be noticed. In eight patients pericardial effusion remitted completely or partly by a concurrent increase in weight. A distinct pathophysiology for the development of pericardial effusion could not be revealed, but a correlation to restoration of weight seems to exist. Our report suggests that pericardial effusions are more frequent cardiac complications in anorexia nervosa than previously known. In most cases the clinical significance is doubtful.

Key words Anorexia nervosa pericardial effusions heart failure weight restoration 

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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Frölich
    • 1
  • A. von Gontard
    • 1
  • G. Lehmkuhl
    • 1
  • E. Pfeiffer
    • 2
  • U. Lehmkuhl
    • 2
  1. 1.Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie des Kindes- und Jugendalters der Universität zu Köln Robert Koch Str. 10 50931 Köln, GermanyDE
  2. 2.Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie des Kindes- und Jugendalters der Humboldt Universität Berlin Campus Virchow Klinikum Augustenplatz 1 13353 Berlin, GermanyDE

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