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Case reports in hepatology v.2013, 2013년, pp.1 - 4  

Severe Starvation-Induced Hepatocyte Autophagy as a Cause of Acute Liver Injury in Anorexia Nervosa: A Case Report

Restellini, S. (Department of Specialties, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Geneva's University Hospitals and University of Geneva, Gabrielle-Perret-Gentil 4, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland ) ; Spahr, L. (Department of Specialties, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Geneva's University Hospitals and University of Geneva, Gabrielle-Perret-Gentil 4, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland ) ; Rubbia Brandt, L. (Department of Genetic and Laboratory Medicine, Division of Clinical Pathology, Geneva's University Hospitals and University of Geneva, Gabrielle-Perret-Gentil 4, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland ) ;
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    Introduction . Mild elevation of transaminase may be observed in anorexia nervosa, but acute liver injury is uncommon. A complex programmed cell death in response to starvation, called autophagy, has been described in experimental and human studies. Case Presentation . A 24-year-old woman suffering from anorexia nervosa was hospitalized for severe malnutrition. At admission, there were biological signs of acute liver injury but no electrolytic imbalance. After having ruled out the most common causes of liver injury, the patient was carefully refed. As liver tests remained abnormal, liver biopsy was performed. At histology and electron microscopy, numerous signs suggestive of starvation-induced hepatocyte autophagy were found. Discussion . Severe starvation can be associated with acute liver injury that is slowly reversible with careful enteral nutrition. In this clinical situation, profound hepatic glycogen depletion in association with autophagy appears as the leading cause of liver injury.


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