Infantile Dystrophy

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dystrophy, Infantile


chronic nutritional disorder in children, accompanied by disturbance of metabolic processes and the functions of many organs and systems and impairment of the child’s growth and development. Infantile dystrophy may occur with excess (paratrophy), reduced (hypotrophy), and normal body weight in the child; hypo-trophy is observed most frequently. (It is divided into first-, second-, and third-degree hypotrophy depending on the weight deficiency.) In hypotrophy there is frequently retardation of psychological, physical, and motor development, and there occur dyspeptic disorders and reduction of immunity, which lead to the development of various illnesses.

Infantile dystrophy may be alimentary in origin (qualitative and quantitative impairments of nutrition), or infectious (acute and chronic infections), or may arise as the result of violating a regimen or receiving poor care. “Constitutional” or congenital dystrophy results from the effect of prenatal damage which disrupts the nutrition and development of the fetus; causes of infantile dystrophy which develops in the first weeks of life may be congenital metabolic pathology, disturbance of enzyme activity, hormonal disorders, and developmental defects. It manifests itself in loss of weight, low activity, and reduced appetite; it is sometimes associated with vomiting, diarrhea, and impairment of kidney functions. Treatment includes a rational high-calorie diet and vitamin therapy; painstaking care and a correct healthy regimen; stimulation therapy (including transfusion of blood and plasma, medicinal preparation from the dried milk of queen bees, and methandrostenolone), massage, and therapeutic exercise. Prevention consists in correct organization of the dietary and care regimen, conditioning, and prevention and timely treatment of various illnesses.

Maslov, M. S. “Khronicheskie rasstroistva pitaniia ill distrofii (gipotrofii) u detei rannego vozrasta.” In Mnogotomnoe rukovodstvo po pediatrii, vol. 4. Edited by lu. F. Dombrovskaia. Moscow, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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