Acute respiratory failure in anorexia nervosa with hypophosphataemia

J Intern Med. 1989 Jan;225(1):63-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.1989.tb00039.x.


A 19-year-old woman with anorexia nervosa developed respiratory failure during parenteral nutrition. Serum phosphate concentration was low and the patient had several symptoms typical of hypophosphataemia. It is well known that parenteral refeeding may cause severe hypophosphataemia and this has earlier been described to cause respiratory failure in alcoholics and in patients with intestinal disease. This is, to our knowledge, however, the first reported case of respiratory failure in association with hypophosphataemia occurring in a patient with anorexia nervosa and parenteral nutrition.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / blood
  • Anorexia Nervosa / complications*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Parenteral Nutrition*
  • Phosphates / administration & dosage
  • Phosphates / blood
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology*


  • Phosphates