Nutrition and the transplant candidate.Liver Transpl 2017; 23(11):1451-1464LT
Cirrhosis is the most common indication for liver transplantation (LT) worldwide. Malnutrition is present in at least two-thirds of patients with cirrhosis awaiting LT. It negatively impacts survival, quality of life, and the ability to respond to stressors, such as infection and surgery. Muscle wasting or sarcopenia is the most objective feature of chronic protein malnutrition in cirrhosis, and this condition is associated with increased morbidity and mortality before and after LT. In addition to its objectivity, muscularity assessment with cross-sectional imaging studies is a useful marker of nutritional status in LT candidates, as sarcopenia reflects a chronic decline in the general physical condition, rather than acute severity of the liver disease. Despite the high prevalence and important prognostic role, malnutrition and sarcopenia are frequently overlooked because standards for nutritional assessment are lacking and challenges such as fluid retention and obesity are prevalent. In this review, current diagnostic methods to evaluate malnutrition, including muscle abnormalities in cirrhosis, are discussed and current knowledge regarding the incidence and clinical impact of malnutrition in cirrhosis and its impact after LT are presented. Existing and potential novel therapeutic strategies for malnutrition in cirrhosis are also discussed, emphasizing the treatment of muscle wasting in the LT candidate in an effort to improve survival while waiting for LT and to reduce morbidity and mortality after LT.Liver Transplantation 23 1451-1464 2017 AASLD.