Muscle Mass and Mortality After Cardiac Transplantation.Transplantation. 2018 12; 102(12):2101-2107.T
Frailty assessment is recommended to evaluate the candidacy of adults referred for orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT). Psoas muscle area (PMA) is an easily measured biomarker for frailty. There has yet to be a study examining the prognostic impact of PMA in OHT patients.
In this retrospective study, preoperative and postoperative computed tomography (CT) scans were retrieved for adults transplanted between 2000 and 2015 at a tertiary care hospital. Psoas muscle area was measured on a single axial image. Outcomes of interest were all-cause mortality over 6 years and a composite of in-hospital mortality or major morbidity (prolonged ventilation, stroke, dialysis, mediastinitis, or reoperation).
Of 161 adult patients transplanted, 82 had at least 1 abdominal CT scan. At baseline, mean PMA was 25.7 ± 5.8 cm in men and 16.0 ± 3.6 cm in women, and decreased by 8% from the first to the last available CT scan. Adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, and cardiomyopathy etiology, every 1-cm increase in PMA was found to be associated with a 9% reduction in long-term mortality (hazard ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83-0.99; P = 0.031) and a 17% reduction in in-hospital mortality or major morbidity (odds ratio, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.72-0.96; P = 0.014). When PMA was smaller than the sex-specific median, the risk of mortality or major morbidity increased fourfold (odds ratio, 4.29; 95% CI, 1.19-15.46; P = 0.026).
Muscle mass is an independent predictor of mortality and major morbidity after OHT. Further research is needed to determine whether frail OHT patients with low PMA may benefit from muscle-building interventions to improve outcomes.