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DOI: 10.18544/PEDM-20.03.0012
Pediatr Endocrino Diabetes Metab 2014;21,3:123-128

Suspicion of anorexia nervosa as a cause of delayed diagnosis of brain tumor. A case report

Ewa Niedzielska, Jadwiga Węcławek-Tompol, Bernarda Kazanowska, Ewa Barg

Key words: anorexia nervosa, eating disorders, vomiting, Combined Pituitary Hormone Deficiency, brain tumor


Tumors of the central nervous system (CNS) are the most common solid tumors diagnosed in children. The most frequent symptoms of brain tumors in this age group are headaches and vomiting, regardless of the location of the lesions. These symptoms are non-specific, and in each case require differential diagnosis, especially if there is no gradual improvement in the patient’s condition or progression. The most common signs of anorexia nervosa are chronic vomiting, weakness of the body, pain and in extreme cases cachexia. These symptoms are similar to the clinical image of CNS tumor. Teenager, described in our case report presented the following signs for several weeks prior to the diagnosis of a brain tumor: vomiting (especially after meals), non-specific headache and epigastric pain. No significant progression in the patient’s condition oriented the diagnostic process towards anorexia nervosa. Although anorexia in this age group is much more common disease, compared to a brain tumor, it is vital to ruled out/ exclude organic disorders prior to diagnosis of psychogenic disorder. At the same time the waiting for the specialist consultations (ophthalmologist, neurologist) and test results (head CT, head NMR) should not prolong the patients referral to a specialist center.

Article published in polish language

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DOI: 10.18544/PEDM-20.03.0012
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