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      Refeeding syndrome influences outcome of anorexia nervosa patients in intensive care unit: an observational study

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          Data on the epidemiology and management of anorexia nervosa (AN) in the intensive care unit (ICU) are scarce. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and associated morbidity and mortality of AN in French ICUs.


          We randomly selected 30 ICUs throughout France. Thereafter, we retrospectively analyzed all patients with AN admitted to any of these 30 ICUs between May 2006 and May 2008. We considered demographic data, diagnosis at admission and complications occurring during the stay, focusing on refeeding syndrome and management of refeeding.


          Eleven of the 30 ICUs participated in the retrospective study, featuring 68 patients, including 62 women. Average body mass index at the admission was 12 ± 3 kg/m2. Twenty one were mechanically ventilated, mainly for neurological reasons. The reported average calorie intake was 22.3 ± 13 kcal/kg/24 h. Major diagnoses at admission were metabolic problems, refeeding survey and voluntary drug intoxication and infection. The most common complications were metabolic, hematological, hepatic, and infectious events, of which 10% occurred during refeeding. Seven patients developed refeeding syndrome. At day one, the average calorie intake was higher for patients who developed refeeding syndrome (23.2 ± 5 Kcal/kg/j; n = 7) versus patients without refeeding syndrome (14.1 ± 3 Kcal/kg/j; n = 61) P = 0.02. Seven patients died, two from acute respiratory distress syndrome and five from multiorgan-failure associated with major hydroelectrolytic problems.


          The frequency of AN in ICU patients is very low and the crude mortality in this group is about 10%. Prevention and early-detection of refeeding syndrome is the key point.

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          Most cited references 28

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          Preventing complications of central venous catheterization.

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            The outcome of anorexia nervosa in the 20th century.

            The present review addresses the outcome of anorexia nervosa and whether it changed over the second half of the 20th century. A total of 119 study series covering 5,590 patients suffering from anorexia nervosa that were published in the English and German literature were analyzed with regard to mortality, global outcome, and other psychiatric disorders at follow-up. There were large variations in the outcome parameters across studies. Mortality estimated on the basis of both crude and standardized rates was significantly high. Among the surviving patients, less than one-half recovered on average, whereas one-third improved, and 20% remained chronically ill. The normalization of the core symptoms, involving weight, menstruation, and eating behaviors, was slightly better when each symptom was analyzed in isolation. The presence of other psychiatric disorders at follow-up was very common. Longer duration of follow-up and, less strongly, younger age at onset of illness were associated with better outcome. There was no convincing evidence that the outcome of anorexia nervosa improved over the second half of the last century. Several prognostic features were isolated, but there is conflicting evidence. Most clearly, vomiting, bulimia, and purgative abuse, chronicity of illness, and obsessive-compulsive personality symptoms are unfavorable prognostic features. Anorexia nervosa did not lose its relatively poor prognosis in the 20th century. Advances in etiology and treatment may improve the course of patients with anorexia nervosa in the future.
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              Review of the prevalence and incidence of eating disorders.

              To review the literature on the incidence and prevalence of eating disorders. We searched Medline using several key terms relating to epidemiology and eating disorders and we checked the reference lists of the articles that we found. Special attention has been paid to methodologic problems affecting the selection of populations under study and the identification of cases. An average prevalence rate for anorexia nervosa of 0.3% was found for young females. The prevalence rates for bulimia nervosa were 1% and 0.1% for young women and young men, respectively. The estimated prevalence of binge eating disorder is at least 1%. The incidence of anorexia nervosa is 8 cases per 100,000 population per year and the incidence of bulimia nervosa is 12 cases per 100,000 population per year. The incidence of anorexia nervosa increased over the past century, until the 1970s. Only a minority of people who meet stringent diagnostic criteria for eating disorders are seen in mental health care. Copyright 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 34: 383-396, 2003.

                Author and article information

                Crit Care
                Critical Care
                BioMed Central
                28 September 2010
                : 14
                : 5
                : R172
                [1 ]General ICU, Estaing Hospital, University Hospital of Clermont-Ferrand, 1 Place Lucie Aubrac, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
                [2 ]Auvergne Anoria Network, University Hospital of Clermont-Ferrand, 1 Place Lucie Aubrac, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
                [3 ]Internal medicine department, Estaing Hospital, University Hospital of Clermont-Ferrand, 1 Place Lucie Aubrac, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
                [4 ]Centre medico-psychiatrique B, University Hospital of Clermont-Ferrand, 1 Place Lucie Aubrac, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
                [5 ]General Intensive Care Unit, Raymond Poincare Hospital (AP-HP), University of Versailles, SQY, 104 Boulevard Raymond Poincare, 92380 Garches, France
                Copyright ©2010 Vignaud et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


                Emergency medicine & Trauma


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