The superior mesenteric artery syndrome and acute gastric dilatation in eating disorders: a report of two cases and a review of the literature

Int J Eat Disord. 1997 Mar;21(2):103-14. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1098-108x(199703)21:2<103::aid-eat1>;2-p.


Objective: The pathophysiology and symptomatology of the superior mesenteric artery syndrome (SMA syndrome) is discussed.

Method: A review of much of the available literature concerning the SMA syndrome and the associated condition acute gastric dilatation is offered.

Results: Two new cases of acute gastric dilatation in patients with eating disorders, one of whom was diagnosed with SMA syndrome, are presented, along with a discussion of these conditions in reference to the eating disorders.

Conclusion: The SMA syndrome and gastric dilatation are rare but potentially a very serious complication of eating disorders, and clinicians who work with these patients should be aware of such problems.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / diagnosis*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / physiopathology
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology
  • Barium Sulfate
  • Bulimia / diagnosis*
  • Bulimia / physiopathology
  • Bulimia / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Gastric Dilatation / diagnosis*
  • Gastric Dilatation / physiopathology
  • Gastric Dilatation / psychology
  • Humans
  • Hyperphagia / diagnosis*
  • Hyperphagia / physiopathology
  • Hyperphagia / psychology
  • Patient Care Team
  • Stomach / physiopathology
  • Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome / psychology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Barium Sulfate