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Weight loss, weakness, and wasting of the body encountered in certain diseases or in terminal illnesses.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
We selected patients of age 18-60 years, of either sex, ASA grade I and II, average weight (not obese, not cachexic) for our study.
On examination he was cachexic and had oral candidosis and penile ulcers typical of genital herpes (subsequently confirmed by a polymerase chain reaction test).
In our study, the collection protocol explicitly called for the exclusion of cachexic patients by the collecting pathologist or physician; however, the effectiveness and balance of this procedure could not be determined.
The mice developed antibodies, which the investigators used to identify and purify a compound circulating in the blood of cachexic mice but not in that of normal mice.
She also looked cachexic and anaemic but there were no signs of jaundice, cyanosis or oedema.
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. Generalized lymphadenopathy involving sub- mandibular (fig 2), submental (fig 3), preauricular, post auricular, cervical, supra clavicular, occipital (fig 4), axillary (fig 5) and inguinal groups were noted bilaterally with an average size of 8x10cms, non- tender with no secondary changes.