The cardiac component of cardiac cachexia

Viorel G. Florea, Michael Y. Henein, Mathias Rauchhaus, Veronika Koloczek, Rakesh Sharma, Wolfram Doehner, Philip A. Poole-Wilson, Andrew J S Coats, Stefan D. Anker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Recent evidence suggests the importance of noncardiac mechanisms in the genesis of the syndrome of cardiac cachexia. This raises the question of the relative role of the heart itself in this syndrome. This study sought to assess the cardiac dimensions, mass, and function and changes in these parameters over time in patients with chronic heart failure with and without cachexia. Methods: Doppler echocardiography was performed in 28 patients with nonedematous weight loss (>7.5% over a period of >6 months) compared with 56 matched patients without weight loss in a ratio of 1:2 (age 71 ± 13 vs 67 ± 8 years, P = .07; New York Heart Association class 2.9 ± 0.7 vs 2.6 ± 0.6, P = .08). In 18 cachectic and 35 noncachectic patients with previous echocardiographic recordings, we analyzed the changes in left ventricular (LV) dimensions and mass over time. Results: Cardiac dimensions including LV diastolic (69 ± 9 mm vs 67 ± 13 mm) and systolic cavity diameter (58 ± 11 mm vs 55 ± 15 mm), LV mass (480 ± 180 g vs 495 ± 190 g), and LV systolic and diastolic function including fractional shortening (16% ± 10% vs 18% ± 10%), isovolumic relaxation time (29 ± 22 ms vs 36 ± 27 ms), and E/A ratio (2.7 ± 1.6 vs 3.3 ± 2.9) did not differ between cachectic and noncachectic patients (all P > . 1). By analyzing changes in LV mass over time, we found an increase (>20%) in 2 (11%) cachectic and 14 (40%) noncachectic patients and a decrease in LV mass (>20%) in 9 (50%) cachectic and 8 (23%) noncachectic patients (x2 test, P <.05). Conclusions: Although no specific cardiac abnormality could be detected echocardiographically in cachectic patients compared with patients with noncachectic chronic heart failure in a cross-sectional study, over time a significant loss of LV mass (>20%) occurs more frequently in patients with cardiac cachexia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The cardiac component of cardiac cachexia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this