Pneumomediastinum: a rare complication of anorexia nervosa in children and adolescents. A case study and review of the literature

Abstract

Spontaneous pneumomediastinum is uncommon in paediatric practice. We describe two cases of spontaneous pneumomediastinum in a child and an adolescent with anorexia nervosa. Thorough investigation failed to reveal any underlying cause for secondary pneumomediastinum. Pneumomediastinum in anorexia nervosa can be caused by not only elevated intrathoracic pressures, but also by the poor quality of the alveolar walls due to malnutrition. The incidence of spontaneous pneumomediastinum in anorexia nervosa is probably higher than that recorded, since it resolves spontaneously and, therefore, it can remain undetected. We conclude that it is our considered opinion that malnutrition associated with anorexia nervosa predisposes for spontaneous pneumomediastinum due to weakness of the alveolar wall and the loss of connective tissue.

DOI: 10.1007/s00431-007-0444-9

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@article{Veelen2007PneumomediastinumAR, title={Pneumomediastinum: a rare complication of anorexia nervosa in children and adolescents. A case study and review of the literature}, author={Ina van Veelen and Paul H. G. Hogeman and Annemarie A. van Elburg and Fenny W. Nielsen-Abbring and Ben G. F. Heggelman and Hans F. Mahieu}, journal={European Journal of Pediatrics}, year={2007}, volume={167}, pages={171 - 174} }