I recently came across an article from the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) titled, "Imaging Findings in Eating Disorders." This article was developed to expose radiologists to eating disorder related imaging findings. Authors Jessica J. Kraeft, Raul N. Uppot, and Alejandro M. Heffess prepared this information in an attempt to empower radiologists with the expertise necessary to spot and identify signs of an eating disorder.
Due to the secretive and silent nature of eating disorders, the illness might not be externally visible to family members or friends. The internal symptoms and damage might even remain undetected by the patient's primary physician. Therefore, with proper training, the radiologist has the potential to play a critical role in spotting this life threatening illness.
There are specific imaging findings that may indicate the presence of an eating disorder. The radiologist should understand how the results of their study can contribute to the accurate diagnosis of this condition, and thus alert the referring physician.
There are several modalities utilized in detecting an eating disorder:
Eating disorders can affect multiple organ systems, and can be detected through various imaging modalities. The symptoms and manifestations are identified in this article in order to increase awareness among radiologists. According to the Academy for Eating Disorders, early detection and treatment at the appropriate level of care are associated with a better chance of recovery.
Understanding how to interpret these findings, and spreading awareness of eating disorder detection, is fantastic movement towards eating disorder education in the medical field. We can only hope that as radiologists understand these findings, their communication with the referring physician will create a domino effect; enabling even more medical staff to uncover and treat this life threating illness. Further research is still needed for detecting BED (Binge Eating Disorder) and FECNEC (Feeding and Eating Conditions Not Elsewhere Classified) in imaging findings.
See article here: http://www.ajronline.org/doi/abs/10.2214/AJR.12.9641?journalCode=ajr