Autophony in inpatients with anorexia nervosa or avoidant restrictive food intake disorder
Objective: To assess for the prevalence of autophony, a distressing auditory symptom commonly attributed to patulous eustachian tube, in a cohort of individuals with severe malnourishment due to an eating disorder.
Method: A cross-sectional survey study was performed. Patients admitted for inpatient medical stabilization of an eating disorder, who were also at low body weight, were asked to complete a survey assessing aural symptoms present in the previous 24 hr, including autophony. Anthropometric data and prealbumin levels were collected.
Results: Of 101 patients enrolled, 43 (42.6%) reported symptoms of autophony. The presence of autophony was associated with lower serum prealbumin levels and lower body weight as measured by percentage of ideal body weight.
Discussion: Autophony is a commonly reported, albeit rarely discussed, symptom in individuals with severe eating disorders and correlates with degree of malnutrition.