Baseline Sarcopenia is Associated with Lack of Response to Therapy, Liver Decompensation and High Mortality in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Patients

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, National Liver Institute, Menoufia University, Shebeen El-Koom, Egypt.

2 Department of Diagnostic Medical Imaging and Interventional Radiology; National Liver Institute, Menoufia University, Shebeen El-Koom, Egypt.


Objective: hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a dreadful complication of liver cirrhosis. Aim was to study the effect of sarcopenia on the survival in patients with HCC. Methods: we included 262 patients and were followed up for 12 months. Sarcopenia was calculated by skeletal muscle index (SMI). Sarcopenia was defined by SMI ≤39 cm2/m2 for women and ≤50 cm2/m2 for men. Results: patients with sarcopenia (n= 113, 43.1%) were older, mainly males, Child-Pugh class B and smokers. Patients with sarcopenia had lower survival than those without (10.09 vs. 11.72 months). Survival was also lower in Barcelona clinic liver cancer stage C than B and A (9.02 vs. 11.21 vs. 11.89 months). Age and sarcopenia were hazardous of mortality (p <0.05). There was statistically significant difference of serial SMI in patients without baseline sarcopenia unlike patients with baseline sarcopenia. On follow up patients with sarcopenia had higher incidence of ascites (45% vs. 20.4%), spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (21.7% vs. 11.6%), hepatic encephalopathy (28% vs. 11.5%) and bleeding (22.9% vs. 12.7%). Totally patients with sarcopenia had higher incidence of progressive HCC (39% vs. 25.5%). Conclusion: Sarcopenia is associated with lack of response to therapy, liver decompensation and higher mortality in hepatocellular carcinoma patients.


Main Subjects

Volume 21, Issue 11
November 2020
Pages 3285-3290
  • Receive Date: 21 June 2020
  • Revise Date: 18 September 2020
  • Accept Date: 22 November 2020
  • First Publish Date: 22 November 2020