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Revista Cubana de Pediatría

Print version ISSN 0034-7531


BAEZ SEGUROLA, Leonor et al. Diencephalic syndrome as a cause of severe malnutrition. Rev Cubana Pediatr [online]. 2013, vol.85, n.1, pp.120-129. ISSN 0034-7531.

Diencephalic syndrome is a set of symptoms and signs caused by dysfunction in this area of the encephalon and characterized by marked malnutrition despite adequate intake of calories. Two cases were reported in this paper. The first one was a 13-years old girl with a history of medro failure since her 3rd month of life, who was admitted to this service for the study of her severe protein/energy malnutrition. In the course of her hospitalization, she presented with unstable appetite and suffered a paroxistic event one month after being hospitalized. The infant girl was then performed magnetic resonance imaging test which revealed a 3 cm x 3cm rounded hypodense image in the suprasellar region. She was operated on twice, the tumor was excised and the anatomic and pathological analysis yielded the presence of low grade pilocytic astrocytoma. The second patient was an small infant who was admitted to the service with a confirmed diagnosis of intracranial tumor for study, very similar to the case previously presented. He suffered an acute protein/energy malnutrition, so he was performed a computerized tomography which showed a broad tumoral mass in the suprasellar region with dilated ventricular system. During the hospitalization, he presented with marked anorexia, progressive loss of weight and he finally underwent gastrotomy, but he died 59 days after admission as a result of pancytopenia. The result of necropsy was low grade pilocytic astrocytoma.

Keywords : diencephalic syndrome; malnutrition; cachexia-anorexia.

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