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Constitutional Thinness and Anorexia Nervosa: A Possible Misdiagnosis?

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Review

Constitutional Thinness and Anorexia Nervosa: A Possible Misdiagnosis?

Bruno Estour et al. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne).

Abstract

Clinical and biological aspects of restrictive anorexia nervosa (R-AN) are well documented. More than 10,000 articles since 1911 and more than 600 in 2013 have addressed R-AN psychiatric, somatic, and biological aspects. Genetic background, ineffectiveness of appetite regulating hormones on refeeding process, bone loss, and place of amenorrhea in the definition are widely discussed and reviewed. Oppositely, constitutional thinness (CT) is an almost unknown entity. Only 32 articles have been published on this topic since 1953. Similar symptoms associating low body mass index, low fat, and bone mass are reported in both CT and R-AN subjects. Conversely, menses are preserved in CT women and almost the entire hormonal profile is normal, except for leptin and PYY. The aim of the present review is to alert the clinician on the confusing clinical presentation of these two situations, a potential source of misdiagnosis, especially since R-AN definition has changed in DSM5.

Keywords: DSM IV; DSM5; anorexia nervosa; constitutional thinness; phenotyping.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Psychiatric, hormonal, and energy balance differences between CT and AN.

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