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Photographs of people with cachexia due to malaria[n 1]

From Late Latin cachexia or French cachexie, from Ancient Greek καχεξία (kakhexía), from κακός (kakós, bad; injurious) + ἕξῐς (héxis, act of having; habit or state of body) (ultimately from ἔχω (ékhō, to have)) + -ῐᾰ (-ia, suffix added to adjectives to form abstract nouns).[1]



cachexia (countable and uncountable, plural cachexias or cachexiae)

  1. (pathology) A systemic wasting of muscle tissue, with or without loss of fat mass, that accompanies a chronic disease. [from mid 16th c.]
    Synonym: cachexy
    • 1652, Nich[olas] Culpeper, “Succory”, in The English Physitian: Or An Astrologo-physical Discourse of the Vulgar Herbs of This Nation. [], London: [] Peter Cole, [], OCLC 863539962, pages 223–224:
      An handful of the Leavs or Roots [of garden succory] boyled in Wine or Water, and a draught thereof drunk faſting, [] helpeth the yellow Jaundice, the Heat of the Reins and of the Urin, and the Dropſie also, and thoſe that have an evil Diſpoſition in their Bodies by reaſon of long ſickneſs, evil Diet &c., which the Greeks call Καχεξία, Cachexia.
    • 1830, George Gregory; Daniel L. M. Peixotto, “Cachexia and Scurvy”, in Elements of the Theory and Practice of Physic, [], 1st New York edition, New York, N.Y.: Published by M. Sherman, OCLC 1021081450, page 518:
      [T]he intimate nature of cachexia is a deterioration in the qualities of blood, a favourite doctrine with the humoral pathologists, in support of which many very powerful arguments might still be adduced.
    • 1848 April 21, “Importance of a Precise Knowledge of the Composition of Blood in the Investigation of Disease”, in The London Medical Gazette, or Journal of Practical Medicine, volume XLI (New Series, volume VI), number 1064, London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, [], OCLC 811460723, page 676:
      If we have hitherto no approach to a physiological expression for those autopathic cachexiæ in which gout, scrofula, and cancer respectively originate, let it be observed that our faculty of analogical interpretation remains inert, in respect of these and many other disorders, only for want of a correct and comprehensive hæmatology.
    • 1977, H[ugo] Tristram Englehardt, Jr., “Closing Remarks”, in H. Tristram Englehardt, Jr., Stuart F. Spicker, and Bernard Towers, editors, Clinical Judgment: A Critical Appraisal: [] (Philosophy and Medicine; 6), Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Company, →ISBN, page 266:
      One must take note, as well, of the difference between clinical accounts and clinical-pathological accounts. That is, one must distinguish among: 1) classifications based on clinical findings, such as those advanced by Sydenham and Sauvages, which grouped illnesses under such basic rubrics as fevers, fluxes, cachexias, weaknesses, etc.; []
    • 2007, Toby C. Campbell; Jamie H. Von Roenn, “Anorexia/Weight Loss”, in Ann M. Berger, John L. Shuster, Jr., and Jamie H. Von Roenn, editors, Principles and Practice of Palliative Care and Supportive Oncology, 3rd edition, Philadelphia, Pa.: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, →ISBN, part C (Gastrointestinal Symptoms and Syndromes), page 125:
      Cancer cachexia is a complex metabolic process, due to both host and tumor factors, which results in excess catabolism as well as aberrant fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
    • 2007, Lawrence E. Harrison, “Nutritional Support for the Cancer Patient”, in Alfred E. Chang, Patricia A. Ganz, Daniel F. Hayes, Timothy Kinsella, Harvey I. Pass, Joan H. Schiller, Richard M. Stone, and Victor Strecher, editors, Oncology: An Evidence-based Approach, New York, N.Y.: Springer Science+Business Media, →ISBN, page 1488:
      Cancer cachexia is a complex syndrome clinically manifest by progressive involuntary weight loss and diminished food intake and characterized by a variety of biochemical alterations.
    • 2008, Roopa Vemulapalli; Jennifer Tomesko, “Cardiothoracic Nutrition”, in Mary Marian; Mary Russell; Scott A[lan] Shikora, Clinical Nutrition for Surgical Patients, Sudbury, Mass.; Mississauga, Ont.; London: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, →ISBN, page 84:
      Preoperative nutritional therapy in CHF [congestive heart failure] patients with cachexia is associated with improved postoperative survival rates. Hence, identifying susceptible patients and intervening prior to development of cardiac cachexia is necessary.
    • 2009, Connie Watkins Bales; Christine Seel Ritchie, “Redefining Nutritional Frailty: Interventions for Weight Loss Due to Undernutrition”, in Connie Watkins Bales and Christine Seel Ritchie, editors, Handbook of Clinical Nutrition and Aging (Nutrition & Health), 2nd edition, New York, N.Y.: Humana Press, DOI:10.1007/978-1-60327-385-5, →ISBN, part II (Fundamentals of Nutrition and Geriatric Syndromes), figure 9.1 caption, page 158:
      While sarcopenia occurs very commonly with aging, cachexia occurs mainly in association with acute or chronic disease.

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ From William H[eiskell] Deaderick (1909), “Clinical History”, in A Practical Study of Malaria, Philadelphia, Pa.; London: W. B. Saunders Company, OCLC 786320932, figures 62–66 between pages 238 and 239.


  1. ^ cachexy, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1888.

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