Clinical significance of sarcopenia in the treatment of patients with primary hepatic malignancies, a systematic review and meta-analysis

Guoqing Zhang, Songfeng Meng, Renfeng Li, Jianwen Ye and Longshuan Zhao _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:102474-102485. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19687

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Guoqing Zhang1, Songfeng Meng1, Renfeng Li1, Jianwen Ye1 and Longshuan Zhao1

1Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China

Correspondence to:

Longshuan Zhao, email: [email protected]

Keywords: sarcopenia; hepatocellular carcinoma; intrahepatic cholangio-carcinoma; third lumbar skeletal muscle index; third lumbar total psoas area

Received: February 25, 2017    Accepted: June 05, 2017    Published: July 28, 2017


Background: The impact of sarcopenia on outcomes following treatment for primary liver tumors remains contentious. Therefore, we performed a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to evaluate the clinical significance of sarcopenia in the treatment of patients with primary liver tumors.

Data sources: A systematic literature search was performed in English through February 1, 2017 in databases.

Results: There were significant differences between patients with and without sarcopenia in overall 1- and 3-year survival (1 year: OR: 0.43; 95% CI: 0.27-0.68; P=0.0004; 3 year: OR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.47-0.96; P=0.03). However, overall 5-year survival showed no significant difference between the groups (OR: 0.61; 95% CI: 0.35-1.07; P=0.08). Patients with sarcopenia showed a significant 53% reduction in disease-free survival within 5 years (OR: 0.47; 95% CI: 0.28-0.79; P=0.005). Also, sarcopenia had a significantly negative impact on recurrence in patients with primary liver tumors (RR: 2.71; 95% CI: 1.46-5.05; P=0.002). Regarding complications rate, we concluded that there was a statistically significant difference between two groups in overall complications rate (RR: 2.52; 95% CI: 1.50-4.22; P=0.0005). However, the major complications rate showed no significant difference between the groups (RR: 1.19; 95% CI: 0.65-2.20; P=0.57).

Conclusions: Sarcopenia seemed to have a negative effect on overall survival in patients with primary liver tumors in the early phase post-treatment, but further research is needed to investigate the prognostic impact on overall survival over the longer term. Moreover, sarcopenia could significantly increase the incidence rates of post-treatment recurrence and overall complications in patients with primary liver tumors.

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