Anorexia Nervosa

Elevation of Liver Function Tests in Severe Anorexia Nervosa

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


Objective: The purpose of this article is to clarify the finding of liver function test abnormalities in anorexia nervosa (AN).

Method: Literature review and description of two representative cases of severe liver function test abnormalities from our medical stabilization unit.

Results: Abnormal elevation of liver function tests can occur during the process of refeeding patients with severe AN. The cause of this elevation is either due to excessive glucose deposition in liver cells or represents liver cell death due to the sequelae of prolonged starvation which characterizes AN before refeeding is adequately in process.

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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