To evaluate the use of sarcopenia as a frailty assessment tool for patients with aortic stenosis undergoing surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) or transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
The study cohort comprised 295 patients who underwent either SAVR (n = 156) or TAVR (n = 139). The mean preoperative Society of Thoracic Surgeons mortality risk score was 4.7%. Preoperative computed tomography (CT) scans were used to calculate gender-standardized total psoas area (TPA), as a validated measure of sarcopenia.
For the entire cohort, independent predictors of a composite measure of 30-day death, stroke, renal failure, prolonged ventilation, and deep wound infection included preoperative STS major morbidity and mortality risk score (odds ratio [OR], 91.1; P = .02) and TPA (OR, 0.5; P = .024). Two-year survival was 85.7% in patients with sarcopenia, compared with 93.8% in patients without sarcopenia (P = .02). Independent predictors of late survival included TPA (hazard ratio, 0.47; P = .02). Male sex (OR, 0.52; P = .04) and TPA (OR, 0.6; P = .001) were predictive of high resource utilization. A separate analysis by treatment group found that TPA predicted high resource utilization after SAVR (OR, 0.4; P < .001), but not after TAVR (P = .66).
CT scan-derived measurement of TPA as an objective frailty assessment tool predicts early morbidity and mortality, high resource utilization, and late survival after treatment for aortic stenosis. The correlation observed between sarcopenia and resource utilization after SAVR versus TAVR suggests that this simple and reproducible risk assessment tool also may help identify those patients who will derive optimal benefit from catheter-based therapy.