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J Gastrointest Surg. 2015 Sep;19(9):1593-602. doi: 10.1007/s11605-015-2835-y. Epub 2015 Apr 30.

Impact Total Psoas Volume on Short- and Long-Term Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Curative Resection for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: a New Tool to Assess Sarcopenia.

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Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Blalock 688, Baltimore, MD, 21287, USA.



While sarcopenia is typically defined using total psoas area (TPA), characterizing sarcopenia using only a single axial cross-sectional image may be inadequate. We sought to evaluate total psoas volume (TPV) as a new tool to define sarcopenia and compare patient outcomes relative to TPA and TPV.


Sarcopenia was assessed in 763 patients who underwent pancreatectomy for pancreatic adenocarcinoma between 1996 and 2014. It was defined as the TPA and TPV in the lowest sex-specific quartile. The impact of sarcopenia defined by TPA and TPV on overall morbidity and mortality was assessed using multivariable analysis.


Median TPA and TPV were both lower in women versus men (both P < 0.001). TPA identified 192 (25.1%) patients as sarcopenic, while TPV identified 152 patients (19.9%). Three hundred sixty-nine (48.4%) patients experienced a postoperative complication. While TPA-sarcopenia was not associated with higher risk of postoperative complications (OR 1.06; P = 0.72), sarcopenia defined by TPV was associated with morbidity (OR 1.79; P = 0.002). On multivariable analysis, TPV-sarcopenia remained independently associated with an increased risk of postoperative complications (OR 1.69; P = 0.006), as well as long-term survival (HR 1.46; P = 0.006).


The use of TPV to define sarcopenia was associated with both short- and long-term outcomes following resection of pancreatic cancer. Assessment of the entire volume of the psoas muscle (TPV) may be a better means to define sarcopenia rather than a single axial image.

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