A case of marked cerebellar atrophy in a woman with anorexia nervosa and cerebral atrophy and a review of the literature.

The International journal of eating disorders

PubMedID: 9813771

Addolorato G, Taranto C, Capristo E, Gasbarrini G. A case of marked cerebellar atrophy in a woman with anorexia nervosa and cerebral atrophy and a review of the literature. Int J Eat Disord. 1998;24(4):443-7.
While cerebral atrophy has been shown in patients with anorexia nervosa, cerebellar atrophy has never been reported in these patients. We report a case of cerebral atrophy with marked cerebellar atrophy in a 20-year-old woman with anorexia nervosa admitted to our hospital for severe weight loss. Neuroradiological examinations of the patient showed morphological brain alteration without focal parenchymal lesions. Cranial computerized tomography (CCT) showed an enlargement of the external cerebrospinal fluid spaces, especially those close to the cerebellar cistern. A brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study confirmed the results of the CCT and dynamic single-photon emission tomography (d-SPECT) showed a reduced perfusion of the left brain areas. The reported case shows that some forms of anorexia nervosa have a concomitant presence of cerebral and cerebellar morphological anomalies. At present, it is not possible to demonstrate the whole correlation between the imaging reports and the clinical or neurological symptomatology. Some forms of brain alteration could be secondary to undernutrition; on the other hand, cerebral and cerebellar atrophy and eating disorders are far from clear and may also be an expression of an unknown common denominator.