Cardiac cachexia in early literature: A review of research prior to Medline

Wolfram Doehner, Stefan D. Anker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cachexia has been known to physicians since ancient Greek times as a 'signum mali ominis' in various diseases indicating end stage disease and poor quality of life. Cardiac cachexia is recently receiving growing attention as modern treatment options prevent early death from cardiac events and more patients live with chronic compensated heart failure. Nevertheless, observation and clinical documentation of this condition go back as long as medical science itself. Pioneering studies on the reasons and mechanisms of cachexia were performed several decades ago. These studies provide fundamental insights and guidance towards a better understanding of cachexia. This review presents an overview of early thoughts and milestone studies on metabolic abnormalities and cachexia in chronic heart failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Cachexia
  • Chronic heart failure
  • History
  • Metabolic abnormalities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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