clinical features

Last reviewed 01/2018

In malnutrition there is muscle wasting of the infant but preservation of some subcutaneous fat. Note that most features are in systems with high rates of turnover:-

  • oedema - in kwashiorkor
  • diarrhoea as a result of villous atrophy
  • abdominal distention as a result of small bowel flora
  • hair loss
  • nail atrophy
  • listlessness
  • irritability
  • apathy
  • anorexia
  • flaky paint skin - dermatitis, depigmented skin, generally thin and cracking. Sometimes there is hyperpigmentation
  • nappy rash, often infected with candida
  • hepatomegaly due to fatty infiltration
  • prone to infection