Clin Mol Hepatol.  2022 Oct;28(4):876-889. 10.3350/cmh.2022.0231.

Impacts of muscle mass dynamics on prognosis of outpatients with cirrhosis

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Sarcopenia negatively affects the prognosis of cirrhotic patients, but clinical implications of changes in muscle mass remain unclear. We aimed to elucidate its role in the prognosis of outpatients with cirrhosis.
Patients with cirrhosis who underwent annual abdominal computed tomography (CT) for hepatocellular carcinoma surveillance were included in the prospective cohort. The L3 skeletal muscle index (SMI) was adopted as a proxy for the amount of skeletal muscle, and the rate of SMI change between inclusion and after 1 year (ΔSMI/yr%) was calculated.
In total, 595 patients underwent a second CT after 1 year. Among them, 109 and 64 patients had sarcopenia and Child-Pugh class B/C decompensation at inclusion, which changed to 103 and 45 at the 1-year follow-up, respectively. During a median follow-up of 30.1 months after 1 year, 86 patients had at least one cirrhosis complication, and 18 died or received liver transplantation. In the development of cirrhosis complications, ΔSMI/yr% was independently associated, even after adjusting for the Child-Pugh and model for end stage liver disease (MELD)-Na scores. In addition, ΔSMI/yr% showed a good predictive performance for the development of cirrhosis complications within 6 months after 1-year follow-up in all subgroups, with a cut-off of -2.62 (sensitivity, 83.9%; specificity, 74.5%) in the overall population. SMI at 1-year and Child-Pugh score were independent factors associated with survival. In addition, changes in sarcopenia status significantly stratified survival.
ΔSMI/yr% was a good predictor of the development of cirrhosis complications in outpatients with cirrhosis, independent of Child-Pugh and MELD scores.


Sarcopenia; Liver cirrhosis; Prognosis; Survival; Prognosis
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