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Regional cerebral blood flow in weight-restored anorexia nervosa: a preliminary study.

Journal article
Authors Maria Råstam
Jan Bjure
Eleonor Vestergren
Paul Uvebrant
I Carina Gillberg
Elisabet Wentz
Christopher Gillberg
Published in Developmental medicine and child neurology
Volume 43
Issue 4
Pages 239-42
ISSN 0012-1622
Publication year 2001
Published at Institute of Selected Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiation Physics
Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Dept of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Dept of Paediatrics
Pages 239-42
Language en
Keywords Adolescent, Adult, Anorexia Nervosa, diet therapy, physiopathology, radionuclide imaging, Autistic Disorder, physiopathology, radionuclide imaging, Body Mass Index, Brain, blood supply, physiopathology, radionuclide imaging, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Female, Humans, Male, Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


Twenty-one individuals (19 females, two males) with teenage-onset anorexia nervosa (AN), 19 of whom were weight restored, were assessed using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) 7 years after onset of AN, at a mean age of 22 years. For comparison we recruited a younger group without neuropsychiatric disorder (mean age 9:8 years; five females, four males) who underwent SPECT at follow-up after an operation for coarctation of the aorta or because of lymphatic leukaemia. Ethical considerations precluded the study of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in participants with completely normal development. The group with AN showed marked hypoperfusion of temporal, parietal, occipital, and orbitofrontal lobes compared to the contrast group. rCBF was not correlated to body mass index in any of the groups. Results suggest that, even long after re-feeding has occurred, AN may be associated with moderate to severe cerebral blood flow hypoperfusion in the temporoparietal (or temporoparietooccipital) region and in the orbitofrontal region. A limitation of the study is that the young contrast group in this study could be expected to have a higher global rCBF than the group with AN. However, this should not significantly affect the relative values used in this study.

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