Cardiac findings in adolescents with anorexia nervosa at diagnosis and after weight restoration

Eur J Pediatr. 2005 Jun;164(6):383-6. doi: 10.1007/s00431-005-1647-6. Epub 2005 Mar 15.


The aim of this study was to compare heart abnormalities in a group of young women with anorexia nervosa at diagnosis and after weight restoration. A total of 40 young women with anorexia nervosa were evaluated, at baseline, (diagnosis) and follow-up (9 to 18 months later) and matched with 40 healthy women of the same age and of normal weight. QT interval was measured from surface electrocardiograms. QT dispersion was defined as the difference between maximum QT and minimum QT occurring in any of the 12 leads. Left ventricular end-diastolic diameter, left ventricular end-systolic diameter, left ventricular mass, left ventricular mass index, cardiac output, fractional shortening and fractional ejection, were measured by echocardiography. In anorexia nervosa patients, corrected QT interval and QT dispersion, significantly decreased from baseline to follow-up. Left ventricular end-diastolic dimension, left ventricular mass index, and cardiac output, in anorexia nervosa were significantly lower at diagnosis than at follow-up after weight restoration.

Conclusion: Adolescents with anorexia nervosa have significant functional and structural cardiac abnormalities; weight gain was associated with improvement. Appropriate attention should be paid to cardiac involvement.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anorexia Nervosa / complications*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnostic imaging
  • Anorexia Nervosa / physiopathology
  • Anorexia Nervosa / therapy
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology
  • Cardiac Output
  • Cardiomyopathies / etiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology
  • Heart Diseases / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Ultrasonography