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Int J Eat Disord. 2004 Jul;36(1):114-7.

Acute liver damage in anorexia nervosa.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.


We report a case of a 26-year-old White woman with a history of anorexia nervosa who developed severe liver damage and multiorgan dysfunction. At admission to our medical unit, her body mass index (BMI) was 10.8. Biochemical evaluation showed a marked increase in serum levels of aspartate aminotransferases (AST = 9,980 IU/L), alanine aminotransferase (ALT = 3,930 IU/L), amylase (1,002 IU/L), lipase (1,437 IU/L), creatine phosphokinase (CPK; 783 IU/L), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH = 6,830 IU/L). Glomerular filtration rate was reduced (35 ml/min), reflecting dehydration and prerenal azotemia. No other cause of acute liver damage except malnutrition was evidenced. Hydration and nutritional support were the unique medical treatment. A rapid recovery occurred in few days and all laboratory data were normal at discharge after a 37-day hospitalization.

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