Sarcopenia is associated with increased mortality but not complications following resection and reconstruction of sarcoma of the extremities

Nathan R. Hendrickson, Zachary Mayo, Alan Shamrock, Kyle Kesler, Natalie Glass, Peter Nau, Benjamin J. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Evidence regarding the impact of sarcopenia on operative outcomes in patients with sarcoma is lacking. We evaluated the relationship between sarcopenia and postoperative complications or mortality among patients undergoing tumor excision and reconstruction. ​. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 145 patients treated with tumor excision and limb reconstruction for sarcoma of the extremities. Sarcopenia was defined as psoas index (PI) < 5.45 cm2/m2 for men and <3.85 cm2/m2 for women from preoperative axial CT. Regression analyses were used to assess the association between postoperative complications or mortality with PI, age, gender, race, body mass index, tumor histology, grade, depth, location, size, and neoadjuvant/adjuvant therapy. Results: There were 101 soft tissue tumors and 44 primary bone tumors. Sarcopenia was present in 38 patients (26%). Sarcopenic patients were older (median age: 72 vs 59 years, P =.0010) and had larger tumors (86.5%, >5 cm vs 77.7%, P =.023). Seventy-three patients experienced complications (51%) and 18 patients died within 1 year. Sarcopenia and metastatic disease were associated with increased 12-month mortality (hazard ratio [HR] = 6.68, P <.001; HR: 8.51, P <.001, respectively) but not complications (HR 1.45, P =.155, odds ratio, 1.32, P =.426, respectively). Conclusions: Sarcopenia and metastatic disease were independently associated with postoperative mortality but no complications following surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1241-1248
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was performed at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • complications
  • mortality
  • risk stratification
  • sarcoma
  • sarcopenia


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