Acute superior mesenteric artery syndrome and pancreatitis in anorexia nervosa

Australas Psychiatry. 2010 Dec;18(6):523-6. doi: 10.3109/10398562.2010.498885. Epub 2010 Oct 10.


Objective: The aim of this paper is to describe the presentation and clinical management of a patient with anorexia nervosa complicated by superior mesenteric artery syndrome and pancreatitis, and discuss the association between these conditions.

Method: We present a case report and briefly review the relevant literature.

Results: A 17-year-old girl with undiagnosed anorexia nervosa presented acutely with abdominal symptoms and vomiting. After numerous investigations, she was diagnosed with the rare condition of superior mesenteric artery syndrome and pancreatitis, leading to a prolonged hospital admission and management on both an acute medical/surgical ward and an eating disorders unit.

Conclusions: Anorexia nervosa has been associated with superior mesenteric artery syndrome and pancreatitis. Clinical awareness of these conditions can result in prompt diagnosis and optimal management of these patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anorexia Nervosa / complications*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis
  • Anorexia Nervosa / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pancreatitis / complications*
  • Pancreatitis / diagnosis
  • Pancreatitis / therapy
  • Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome / complications*
  • Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome / therapy