Pre-operative Sarcopenia Predicts Low Islet Cell Yield Following Total Pancreatectomy with Islet Autotransplantation for Chronic Pancreatitis

Guru Trikudanathan, Ghislaine Feussom, Levi Teigen, Satish Munigala, Kathleen Price, Ahmed Dirweesh, Joshua J. Wilhelm, Bernhard J. Hering, Varvara Kirchner, Srinath Chinnakotla, Greg Beilman, Martin L. Freeman, Melena D. Bellin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Sarcopenia defined as degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass associated with aging, represents an objective parameter to measure frailty and to estimate patient's physiologic reserves. It is a robust predictor of post-operative complications in transplantation and major oncologic surgeries. There is no data regarding the prevalence of sarcopenia in chronic pancreatitis or its impact on the outcome of patients undergoing TPIAT for CP. We sought to estimate the prevalence of sarcopenia, its impact on post-operative morbidity and prediction of islet yield and metabolic outcomes in patients undergoing TPIAT.

METHODS: Adult patients undergoing TPIAT between 2008 and 2018 were identified from our prospectively maintained database and were included if they had CT within 6 months before TPIAT. Skeletal muscle index (SMI) was evaluated by pre-operative CT at the level of L3 vertebra. Sarcopenia was defined as SMI < 52.4 in males and < 38.5 in females. Post-operative morbidity occurring within 90 days after TPIAT was graded as per the validated Clavien-Dindo score. Major post-surgical morbidity was defined as Clavien-Dindo score of IIIa or more. The yield of islets was quantified as islet equivalents (IEQ) and IEQ/kg recipient body weight was calculated.

RESULTS: One hundred and thirty-eight patients underwent TPIAT, with 46 (one-third) being classified as having pre-operative sarcopenia based on CT. No significant differences were observed in the incidence of any major surgical complications, length of hospital stay (median (range in days) 11 1-8 vs. 12 2-9; p = 0.6) and 30-day readmission rate (7 (15.2%) vs, 2 (2.2%); p = 0.5) between sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic patients. More patients with sarcopenia needed to be discharged to residential rehabilitation facility compared with non-sarcopenic patients (7 (15.2%) vs. 2 (2.2%), p = 0.007). Sarcopenia (OR 7.4 (95% CI 1.32-41.24); p = 0.023) and presence of calcification (OR 5.5 (95% CI 0.94-32.19); p = 0.05) were independent predictors of low islet yield (< 2500 IEQ/kg) on multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSION: Sarcopenia is frequent in CP patients undergoing TPIAT, but not readily recognized by standard anthropometric measurement. Sarcopenia was associated with increased chance of discharge to a residential rehabilitation facility and with a poor islet yield during TPIAT. It is therefore critical to optimize nutrition prior to TPIAT surgery in CP patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2423-2430
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
MLF consultant agreement with Boston Scientific, AbbVie, MDL receives funding from NIDDK R01-DK109124 and research support from Viacyte, Dexcom, and DSMB member for Insulet

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Sarcopenia

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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