Cachexia syndrome: The present state of the problem and importance in clinical practice

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Abstract

Available updates have changed our idea about cachexia as a terminal condition, which could consider it as a combined metabolic syndrome that gives rise to the worse course of the underlying disease, the lower efficiency of specific therapy, and higher death rates. Chronic inflammatory factors are recognized to be the main mechanisms for the development of cachexia syndrome (CS). In addition, diagnostic criteria for this pathological condition are well defined. These criteria are rather simple for use in clinical practice and they should be assessed by physicians at all stages of a follow-up of patients with severe chronic diseases, since cachexia may develop long before the appearance of the so-called extreme emaciation. The earlier the physician will anticipate the onset of CS, the more successful attempts to correct the latter and accordingly the better prognosis of the underlying disease will be. Available updates on the possibilities of correcting cachexia — anorexia are considered although there are no established standards for the management and treatment of patients with CS now. The elaboration of a step-by-step algorithm for following up the patients and a search for medications with proven clinical efficacy are relevant.

About the authors

M F Ballyuzek

M V Mashkova

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