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Table of Contents > Health Dictionary > Wasting syndrome

Wasting syndrome

Progressive involuntary weight loss seen in patients with HIV infection; may be due to a number of factors acting alone or in combination, including inadequate oral intake of food, altered metabolic state, and malabsorption. Does not respond to increased caloric intake. Defined as profound involuntary weight loss of greater than 10% of baseline body weight, plus either chronic diarrhea (at least two loose stools per day for more than 30 days) or chronic weakness and documented fever (for more than 30 days, intermittent or constant) in the absence of concurrent illness or condition other than HIV infection that could explain the findings (such as cancer, tuberculosis, cryptosporidiosis, or other specific enteritis).