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Case report
Anorexia nervosa and dialysis: we have no time when the body is so damaged!
  1. Eva Osório,
  2. Isabel Milheiro,
  3. Isabel Brandão,
  4. António Roma Torres
  1. Department of Psychiatry, Centro Hospitalar de São João, E.P.E., Porto, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Eva Osório, eva.agape{at}


Anorexia nervosa remains challenging to treat and difficult to prevent. Nearly 5% of affected individuals die of this disease and 20% develop a chronic eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa may be associated with several medical complications of varying severity, including dysfunction of the renal system. Though there are some reports of renal failure in patients with anorexia nervosa, few reports are available concerning patients who required maintenance dialysis. We report a case of a patient with long-term untreated anorexia nervosa-binge eating/purging type who started psychiatric treatment when in a life-threatening situation (renal failure requiring dialysis), with unsuccessful weight recovery while on dialysis and died of septicaemia. The mechanisms that seem to be involved in the development of end-stage renal disease in this patient and the challenges associated with her treatment are reviewed. Patients with anorexia nervosa should be carefully monitored to discover the subtle manifestations of early renal failure.

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