[Acute gastric dilatation with superior mesenteric artery syndrome in a young girl with anorexia nervosa]

Arch Pediatr. 1995 Oct;2(10):973-6. doi: 10.1016/0929-693x(96)89893-9.
[Article in French]


Background: Acute gastric dilatation is a rare complication of anorexia nervosa which may be fatal in case of gastric perforation. Superior mesenteric artery syndrome may be associated with gastric dilatation.

Case report: A 14 year-old girl was admitted suffering from severe anorexia nervosa. Shortly after admission, she complained of abdominal pain related to a bulimic episode a few days before, followed by nausea and vomiting. Distended abdomen and tachycardia suggested acute small-bowel obstruction. A diagnosis of acute gastric dilatation with superior mesenteric artery syndrome was suspected on X-ray examination and confirmed by esophagogastrography after gastric evacuation. The patient improved rapidly under total parenteral nutrition. Upper gastrointestinal study repeated 10 days later showed normal stomach.

Conclusions: Small-bowel obstruction in anorexia nervosa first evokes acute gastric dilatation, and a perforation has to be ruled out by esophagogastrography. Association with superior mesenteric artery syndrome is possible; it does not necessarily lead to surgery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Anorexia Nervosa / complications*
  • Female
  • Gastric Dilatation / complications*
  • Gastric Dilatation / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Radiography
  • Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome / complications*