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Weight loss, weakness, and wasting of the body encountered in certain diseases or in terminal illnesses.



a state of profound wasting and physical debility manifested by severe emaciation, weight loss, dry and flabby skin, loss of hair, disappearance of subcutaneous fat, atrophy of muscles and viscera, and low serum protein level. Edema, hemorrhages, and sometimes mental derangement can occur with cachexia. It results from prolonged malnutrition or starvation, severe metabolic disorders, chronic arsenic, lead, mercury, or fluorine poisoning, and severe lesions of the digestive tract (atrophy of the intestinal mucosa, condition after resection of the stomach and intestines). Cachexia may occur in severe cases of tuberculosis or other chronic infections, some lesions of the endocrine glands, (hypophysis, thyroid, adrenals, pancreas), large slow-healing wounds, abscesses, and malignant tumors (especially of the esophagus and stomach).

References in periodicals archive ?
Low CD4 count, high HIV RNA levels and cachectic view may suggest advanced HIV infection.
Abby, a 71-year-old cachectic woman with a history of cigarette smoking returns for her second cycle of cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) for breast cancer.
On admission he looked cachectic and he had multiple cranial nerve palsies affecting cranial nerves VI to XII.
I also vividly remember the 'Lazarus syndrome', where patients would be moribund, bed-bound, cachectic and looked to me as if they were in the terminal phase.
The physical examination was significant for a cachectic appearance.
Hoehn and Yahr Staging of Parkinson's Disease Stage I * Unilateral involvement * Minimal or no functional impairment * Friends have noticed changes in posture, locomotion and facial expression Stage II * Bilateral or midline involvement * No impairment of balance * Mild disability Stage III * Impaired righting reflexes * Mild to moderate disability * Significant slowing of body movements * Early impairment of equilibrium on walking or standing Stage IV * Severely disabled * Can still walk to a limited extent * No longer able to live alone Stage V * Confinement to bed or w/c unless aided * Cachectic stage * Requires constant nursing care Sources: 1) Hoehn, M and Yahr, M: Parkinsonism: onset, progression and mortality.
On examination, he appeared cachectic and was dehydrated and hypothermic (tympanic temperature 32.
In April 1879, Jules Pean of Paris performed a resection of a cancer of the pyloric end of the stomach in a cachectic patient, who died on the fifth postoperative day.
On physical examination, the following were noted: a pale, cachectic, and physically underdeveloped female at 5' 2" and 87 pounds presenting with curvature of the spine; several skin nodules on chest and back; and several facial hemangiomas around the cheeks and chin area.
On examination he was cachectic with an ECOG performance status of 3 and had no palpable lymphadenopathy.