Indian J Dent Res. 2012 May-Jun;23(3):426-7. doi: 10.4103/0970-9290.102246.


"PICA" means perverted appetite for substances not fit as food or of no nutritional value such as, bricks, clay, soil, ice, laundry starch, etc. The word ''PICA'' is derived from Latin word for Magpie, a species of bird that feeds on whatever it encounters. ''PICA'' has been observed in ethnic groups worldwide in primitive and modern cultures, in both sexes and in all age groups. The case presented here reports a 30 year old female patient who had craving for ingestion of gravel and brick fragments since the age of 13 years. Iron deficiency anemia was found after complete blood count and iron studies. The diagnosis of "PICA" requires that the patient is persistently eating non-food substances for at least 1 month and such behavior is appropriate for the child's stage of development.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pica / diagnosis*
  • Tongue Diseases / diagnosis
  • Tooth Attrition / diagnosis