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Title: Reduced upper limb lean mass on dual energy X-ray absorptiometry predicts adverse outcomes in male liver transplant recipients.
Austin Authors: Hey, Penelope ;Hoermann, Rudolf;Gow, Paul J ;Hanrahan, Timothy P;Testro, Adam G ;Apostolov, Ross ;Sinclair, Marie 
Affiliation: Victorian Liver Transplant Unit
Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3052, Australia
Issue Date: 18-Jun-2022
Publication information: World Journal of Transplantation 2022; 12(6): 120-130
Abstract: Pre-transplant muscle wasting measured by computed tomography has been associated with adverse clinical outcomes after liver transplantation including increased rates of sepsis and hospitalisation days. Upper limb lean mass (LM) measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) was recently identified as a novel predictor of sarcopenia-associated mortality in men waitlisted for transplantation. To investigate the use of DEXA LM in predicting gender-stratified early post-transplant outcomes. Liver transplant recipients who underwent pre-transplant DEXA body composition imaging between 2002 and 2017 were included. Endpoints included post-transplant mortality and graft failure, bacterial infections, acute cellular rejection (ACR) and intensive care and total hospital length of stay. Four hundred and sixty-nine patients met inclusion criteria of which 338 were male (72%). Median age was 55.0 years (interquartile range 47.4, 59.7) and model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score 16. Median time from assessment to transplantation was 7 mo (3.5, 12). Upper limb LM was inversely associated with bacterial infections at 180 d post-transplant (hazard ratio = 0.42; 95% confidence interval: 0.20-0.89; P = 0.024) in males only. There was a negative correlation between upper limb LM and intensive care (τb = -0.090, P = 0.015) and total hospital length of stay (τb = -0.10, P = 0.0078) in men. In women, neither MELD nor body composition parameters were associated with post-transplant adverse outcomes or increased length of stay. Body composition parameters, MELD and age were not associated with 90-d mortality or graft failure in either gender. There were no significant predictors of early ACR. Sarcopenia is an independent and potentially modifiable predictor of increased post-transplant bacterial infections and hospital length of stay in men with cirrhosis. DEXA upper limb LM provides a novel measure of muscle wasting that has prognostic value in this cohort. The lack of association in women requires further investigation.
DOI: 10.5500/wjt.v12.i6.120
ORCID: 0000-0002-5219-0382
PubMed URL: 35979539
PubMed URL:
ISSN: 2220-3230
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Body composition
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry
Liver transplantation
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