Moderate to severe starvation can result in a number of gross pathologic changes.

Gross pathologic changes of starvation:

(1) decrease in body weight

(2) loss of adipose tissue

(3) atrophy of skeletal muscles

(4) decrease in visceral weights

(5) skin changes (blue pallor, pale skin, thinning)

(6) pressure ulcerations

(7) hypopigmentation

(8) dental caries

(9) brittle hair and/or alopecia

(10) protruding occiput

(11) thin neck

(12) sunken eyes

(13) sunken cheeks

(14) protruding bones (ribs, vertebrae, iliac crests)

(15) winging of scapulae

(16) knobby joints

(17) scaphoid abdomen

(18) wrinkling of skin on the extremities and buttocks

(19) thinning of gastric and intestinal walls

(20) empty GI tract

(21) distended gallbladder

(22) dehydrated feces

(23) secondary infections

(24) tenting of the skin if dehydrated (poor turgor)


Additional findings seen in infants:

(1) depressed fontanelles

(2) thymic involution

(3) diaper rash

To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.