Anorexia Nervosa
Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

Autophony in inpatients with anorexia nervosa or avoidant restrictive food intake disorder

International Journal of Eating Disorders
By Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS


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.

Written by

Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS

Dr. Philip S. Mehler began his career at Denver Health more than 35 years ago and was formerly its Chief of Internal Medicine and then Denver Health’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) until he was promoted…

ACUTE Earns Prestigious Center of Excellence Designation from Anthem
In 2018, the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders & Severe Malnutrition at Denver Health was honored by Anthem Health as a Center of Excellence for Medical Treatment of Severe and Extreme Eating Disorders. ACUTE is the first medical unit ever to achieve this designation in the field of eating disorders. It comes after a rigorous review process.

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