Sarcopenia Impairs Prognosis of Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma: The Role of Liver Functional Reserve and Tumor-Related Factors in Loss of Skeletal Muscle Volume.Nutrients 2017; 9(10)N
Sarcopenia impairs survival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study aimed to clarify the factors that contribute to decreased skeletal muscle volume in patients with HCC. The third lumbar vertebra skeletal muscle index (L3 SMI) in 351 consecutive patients with HCC was calculated to identify sarcopenia. Sarcopenia was defined as an L3 SMI value ≤ 29.0 cm²/m² for women and ≤ 36.0 cm²/m² for men. The factors affecting L3 SMI were analyzed by multiple linear regression analysis and tree-based models. Of the 351 HCC patients, 33 were diagnosed as having sarcopenia and showed poor prognosis compared with non-sarcopenia patients (p = 0.007). However, this significant difference disappeared after the adjustments for age, sex, Child-Pugh score, maximum tumor size, tumor number, and the degree of portal vein invasion by propensity score matching analysis. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that age (p = 0.015) and sex (p < 0.0001) were significantly correlated with a decrease in L3 SMI. Tree-based models revealed that sex (female) is the most significant factor that affects L3 SMI. In male patients, L3 SMI was decreased by aging, increased Child-Pugh score (≥56 years), and enlarged tumor size (<56 years). Maintaining liver functional reserve and early diagnosis and therapy for HCC are vital to prevent skeletal muscle depletion and improve the prognosis of patients with HCC.