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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 35

of 'Approach to the patient with unintentional weight loss'

Recent insights on chronic heart failure, cachexia and nutrition.
Miján-de-la-Torre A
Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2009;12(3):251.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To provide recent observations on the interrelation between chronic heart failure (CHF), cachexia and human nutrition and updating epidemiological issues in CHF.
RECENT FINDINGS: Present evidence suggests that impairment in cardiac muscle energetics plays an important role in the pathogenesis of heart failure. New concepts such as microRNA expression are emerging as potential agents in heart failure. Recent research suggests mechanisms by which inflammatory catabolic states may persist in the presence of adequate growth factors and nutrition. A consensus panel has recently designed a definition for general cachexia and its stratification. Together with classicals, new nutrients and substrates are showing efficacies in the malnutrition associated with CHF. Although still promising, ghrelin, growth factors and other biological compounds maintain emergent therapeutical positions for heart failure or associated catabolic states or both.
SUMMARY: Altered intestinal function as an agent for CHF is rising in evidence. New techniques to well diagnose and stratify malnutrition and cardiac cachexia in CHF are needed. Treatment of cachexia in CHF appears to be a combination of different approaches, in which metabolic, nutritional, immunological and hormonal strategies may play an important role. Although the current experimental research is of great help, well designed randomized controlled trials are needed to test these hypothesis and generate clinical evidence.
Service of Internal Medicine-Clinical Nutrition, Burgos Healthcare Complex, Burgos, Spain. mijan@hgy.es