E-ISSN 2667-8721

Role of Radiology in Pica Syndrome: A Case Report

Pica syndrome is a mental disorder defined as eating non-food and not-nutritive substances at least for 1 month. The diagnosis of pica syndrome is based on severe anemia which is not compatible with the developmental level, intestinal obstructions, or several conditions depending on content of the substance intaken such as lead poisoning etc. The diagnosis of pica syndrome requires active involvement of pediatrics, psychiatrists, radiologists and patients/family members. In this report, we present a 50-year-old female patient who presented to the emergency department with abdominal pain and radiologically diagnosed with pica syndrome. Patient’s physical and laboratory investigations were normal, while all abdominal tomography revealed hyper-density areas. It was found in the detailed history of the patient that she was receiving psychiatric therapy and had habit of eating cigarette ashes. Upon this, cigarette ashes soaked in water were radiologically examined, similar hyper-density areas were found, and the diagnosis of pica syndrome was established. This case is the third case of eating cigarette ashes pica presented in the literature, and the first case diagnosed radiologically.

Keywords: Pica syndrome, computed tomography, radiology, eating disorders.


Eurasian J Critical Care 2021; 3 (1):33-35
Case Report