Autism spectrum disorder presenting with acute anorectic symptomatology: A diagnostic challenge

M. Poletti, E. Santelli, F. Foti, V. Giuberti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An increasing empirical evidence supports a relationship between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and anorexia. Higher autistic traits are reported in anorexia and a subgroup of adolescent females with anorectic symptomatology could receive an ASD categorial diagnosis. In this case report of a 12-year-old female, we present clinical challenges in the recognition and diagnosis of ASD during hospitalization for anorectic symptomatology: ASD assessment during hospitalization did not support the diagnosis, while another ASD assessment one year later supported the diagnosis, reflecting a changing clinical picture in comparison with that predominant during the anorectic period. In conclusion, the phase of illness and the setting of assessment may influence the detection of a suspected underlying ASD in presence of an acute anorectic symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-47
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Psychopathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Anorexia
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Camouflage
  • Hospitalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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