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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 ?
Important limitations of this study include the lack of detailed information about the subjects such as lifestyle factors, occupation, diet, and other disease conditions; the sample collection having occurred after diagnosis and primarily post-mortem, so organochlorine levels in tissue may have changed from prediagnosis levels; a lack of information on BMI, which might influence adipose tissue levels of organochlorines; and no confirmation as to the effectiveness of the procedure for the exclusion of cachexic subjects.
The researchers found the compound in the urine of cachexic patients with lung, breast, ovarian, or pancreatic cancers.
The patients with neuromuscular disorders, metabolic diseases, renal or hepatic dysfunction, pregnancy and anticipated difficult intubation, extremes of age, cachexic and emaciated patients were excluded from study.
On general physical examination patient had a lean built, was underweight, undernourished and cachexic.
The high level of HIV-related comorbidity is a reflection of continued late presentation of HIV patients, in addition to the compounding problems of TB-immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (TB-IRIS), (7) shared drug toxicities between antiretrovirals and antimycobacterials, and malabsorption of drugs in wasted, cachexic patients.