Muscle wasting in cardiac cachexia

Sabine Strassburg, Jochen Springer, Stefan D. Anker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)


Cardiac cachexia is a serious complication of chronic heart failure which is characterized by complex changes that overall lead to a catabolic/anabolic imbalance resulting in body wasting and a poor prognosis. The wasting process affects all body components, but particularly the skeletal musculature, causing extreme fatigue and weakness, especially in cachectic heart failure patients. Available evidence suggests that several pathophysiologic pathways play a role in the muscle wasting process. Metabolic, neurohormonal, and immune abnormalities lead to an altered regulation of proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and metabolism in skeletal muscle, finally resulting in deterioration of the underlying cause with symptomatic exercise intolerance. Possible treatment strategies against muscle wasting and cachexia in chronic heart failure are also described here. As there is no validated therapy for cardiac cachexia yet, further research is necessary to find more therapeutic options for the wasting process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1938-1947
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005

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