Mammillary body volume abnormalities in anorexia nervosa.

TitleMammillary body volume abnormalities in anorexia nervosa.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKhalsa SS, Kumar R, Patel V, Strober M, Feusner JD
JournalInt J Eat Disord
Date Published2016 Oct
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Anorexia Nervosa, Biomarkers, Body Composition, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Fornix, Brain, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Mammillary Bodies, Retrospective Studies, Thinness, Weight Loss, Young Adult

OBJECTIVE: Several case reports of Wernicke's Encephalopathy in anorexia nervosa (AN) caused by thiamine deficiency have described mammillary body (MB) injury, but systematic studies are lacking. Here we evaluated whether underweight and weight-restored individuals with AN demonstrate evidence of abnormal MB morphology, via retrospective examination of a previously collected data set.

METHOD: Using standard-resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging at 3 Tesla, we measured MB volume and fornix area in a cross-sectional study of 12 underweight AN, 20 weight-restored AN, and 30 age- and sex-matched healthy comparisons. Because of the small size of these structures, a manual tracing approach was necessary to obtain accurate measurements. A blinded expert rater manually traced MB and fornix structures in each participant.

RESULTS: We observed significantly smaller MB volumes in the underweight AN group. However, the weight-restored AN group exhibited significantly larger MB volumes. The right fornix was smaller in the weight-restored AN group only.

DISCUSSION: These findings suggest the possibility that MB volume and fornix area could represent potential biomarkers of acute weight loss and restoration, respectively. Verification of this finding through prospective studies evaluating MB morphology, cognition, and thiamine levels longitudinally across individual illness trajectories might be warranted. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2016; 49:920-929).

Alternate JournalInt J Eat Disord
PubMed ID27414055
PubMed Central IDPMC5064812
Grant ListR01 NR015038 / NR / NINR NIH HHS / United States
R01 NR014669 / NR / NINR NIH HHS / United States
R01 NR013625 / NR / NINR NIH HHS / United States
R01 HL113251 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
R01 MH093535 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States