Prognosis and therapy approaches of cardiac cachexia

Jochen Springer, Gerasimos Filippatos, Yoshihiro J. Akashi, Stefan D. Anker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review focuses on the prognostic implications and therapeutic approaches in cardiac cachexia - a syndrome that has been recognized for a long time, although it has only received increased attention lately. RECENT FINDINGS: Cardiac cachexia is a common and serious complication of chronic heart failure and associated with very poor prognosis, yet is often recognized by the clinicians only at late stage. Approximately 15% of heart failure patients will develop cardiac cachexia, defined by a 6% non-edematous, non-voluntary weight loss over a period of 6 months. Several studies have demonstrated that cardiac cachexia is a multi-factorial disease, which involves increased neurohormonal activity and immune abnormalities, resulting in hormonal and metabolic catabolic/anabolic imbalance of the body, leading to the loss of fat and lean mass and ultimately death. So far, there are no standardized therapies available for this disease. SUMMARY: Cardiac cachexia in heart failure patients is under-recognized and there is currently no causal therapy available. Several interesting treatment options exist, however, which have emerged recently, including appetite stimulants, hormones and 'classical' drugs, such as beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-233
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cardiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2006


  • Cytokine(s)
  • Heart failure
  • Inflammation
  • Neuroendocrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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