Sarcopenia of the Psoas Muscles Is Associated With Poor Outcomes Following Lung Transplantation

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18 Scopus citations


Background: Sarcopenia, a known component of frailty, defined by diminished cross-sectional area of the psoas muscles, is associated with poor outcomes after a range of surgical procedures. However, little is known of the relationship between sarcopenia of the psoas muscles (SPM) and long-term survival, decline in pulmonary function, and graft failure after lung transplantation. Methods: We reviewed patients who underwent primary lung transplantation at our institution from 2011 to 2014. Cross-sectional areas of the psoas muscles at the L4 vertebral level were measured using preoperative computed tomography. Gender-based cutoff values for sarcopenia were generated and validated. The primary outcomes were 1-, 2-, and 3-year all-cause mortality, forced expiratory volume in 1 second values, and graft function. Adjusted logistic regression and survival analysis was used to analyze outcomes. Results: Ninety-five patients were included in this study; 39 (41.1%) patients were considered sarcopenic. SPM was significantly associated with short-term and midterm mortality on multivariate analysis (1 year: odds ratio [OR], 8.7, p = 0.017; 2 years: OR, 12.7, p < 0.01; 3 years: OR, 13.4, p < 0.01). Survival analysis showed significantly decreased survival in sarcopenic patients at 3 years (35.9% versus 76.8%; p < 0.01). SPM is also associated with decreased forced expiratory volume in 1 second (coefficient, –17.3; p = 0.03). Adjusted Cox analysis showed an increased hazard for all-cause mortality (hazard ratio, 5.8, p < 0.01) and graft failure (hazard ratio, 14.7, p < 0.01) in sarcopenic patients. Conclusions: This study demonstrates a significant association between SPM and death, pulmonary function, and graft failure in patients receiving a lung transplant. Determining SPM preoperatively may be a useful component of frailty assessment and a predictor of survival in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1082-1088
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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