This aim of this book is to focus on a very common situation seen in medical practice, the acute catabolic state. This pathophysiological sit uation is rarely discussed as a separate entity, possibly because it is seen in all specialties of medicine and results from a great diversity of agents, insults, and diseases. It thus seemed to be high time to gather the most important and up-to-date knowledge on this entity, and the primary aim of the book is to offer a collection of updated information on the acute catabolic state. Another objective of the book is to make clear that, apart from the general response of the whole organism during the acute catabolic state, a series of organ-specific responses will also take place, which must also be considered during treatment. It has become very clear of these organ-spe from working on this book that current knowledge cific responses is very sparse and in some areas almost nonexistent; this book thus also focuses on the responses and changes which take place in different organs during the acute catabolic state and the inter action between these organs and their responses.