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

Joshua Hsu, Aravind Krishnan, Cheng T. Lin, Pali D. Shah, Stephen R. Broderick, Robert S.D. Higgins, Christian A. Merlo, Errol L. Bush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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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