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Cardiac cachexia

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Cardiac cachexia is a cachectic state caused by chronic cardiac failure.

It probably results from two pathological processes:

  • congestive hepatic enlargement causing anorexia
  • congestive gastrointestinal oedema causing impaired nutrient absorption

Cachexia is a multifactorial disease characterized by a pathologic shift of metabolism towards a more catabolic state (1)

  • frequently occurs in patients with chronic diseases such as chronic heart failure and is especially common in the elderly
  • in patients at risk, cardiac cachexia is found in about 10% of heart failure patients


  • Lena A, Ebner N, Anker MS. Cardiac cachexia. Eur Heart J Suppl. 2019 Dec;21(Suppl L):L24-L27. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/suz241. Epub 2019 Dec 23. PMID: 31885509; PMCID: PMC6926416.

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