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Rev Clin Esp. 2002 Jul;202(7):367-74.

[Etiologic spectrum of solitary constitutional syndrome].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

1
Departamento de Medicina Interna, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Universidad de Cantabria, Santander, Spain. joseluishernandez@ono.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To know the spectrum of diseases responsible for the solitary constitutional syndrome in our setting. This syndrome was defined as a clinical picture characterized by the presence of asthenia, anorexia, and weight loss of at least 5% of body weight in the last six months, not associated with any other symptom or sign suggesting the diagnosis of an organ or system disease.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

All patients diagnosed of the solitary constitutional syndrome (328) in a tertiary-care level teaching hospital between January 1991 and December 1996.

RESULTS:

Fifty-two (170) percent of patients with solitary constitutional syndrome were males and 48% (158) females. The mean age was 65.4%, ranging from 15 to 97 years. The average of the monthly estimated weight loss was 3 to 4 kilograms. A total of 115 (35%) malignant neoplasms and 5 (1.5%) benign tumors were diagnosed. The most common malignant tumors corresponded to the digestive tract (51.3% of the total malignant tumors). The second cause in frequency of the solitary constitutional syndrome corresponded to psychiatric diseases, with a total of 80 patients (24.3%). A total of 116 non-neoplastic organic diseases were detected, with digestive tract diseases --mainly peptic disease-- being the most common cause in this group. After follow-up, only in twenty cases were we unable to detect the underlying disease responsible for the syndrome. In nine of these, the solitary constitutional syndrome was self-limited. Forty-four percent of patients had at least another concomitant disease and in 24% of patients more than one associated condition was found.

CONCLUSION:

The most common diseases responsible for the solitary constitutional syndrome were, by decreasing frequency, malignant tumors, psychiatric disorders, and non-malignant organic diseases located in the digestive tract. A better knowledge of the etiological spectrum of this syndrome might be useful for a more efficient management of these patients.

PMID:
12139819
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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