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Review
, 42 (4), 293-300

The Hematology of Anorexia Nervosa

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Review

The Hematology of Anorexia Nervosa

Gero Hütter et al. Int J Eat Disord.

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.

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