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Ann Thorac Surg. 2019 Dec 17. pii: S0003-4975(19)31879-X. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.10.064. [Epub ahead of print]

A Morphomic Index Is an Independent Predictor of Survival After Lung Cancer Resection.

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Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. Electronic address:
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, NYU Langone Health, New York, New York.
Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.



Sarcopenia, visceral fat volume, and bone density have been associated with lung cancer survival. We developed a morphomic index based on computed tomographic measurements of these components, and assessed its relationship to survival after lung cancer resection.


Patients who underwent lung cancer resection from 1995 to 2014 were evaluated. A morphomic index (range of 0 to 3) was developed as the sum of the scores for three body components-dorsal muscle area, vertebral trabecular bone density, and visceral fat area-measured at vertebral levels T10 to T12, with a point assigned to each component when in the lowest tercile. The relationship of the morphomic index to overall survival was assessed by the log rank test. Overall survival was assessed using Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for relevant covariates.


We included 944 patients (451 women; 48%). The mean age was 66.4 ± 10.3 years. Median follow-up was 4.5 years. Median survival was associated with the morphomic index scores on univariate analysis (P < .001). Morphomic index scores of 2 (P = .026) and 3 (P = .004) referenced to score 0 or 1 were independent predictors of survival on Cox regression analysis.


A morphomic index is an independent predictor of survival after lung cancer resection. The index may help in calibrating patient expectations and in shared decision making regarding lung cancer surgery.

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