Combination of sarcopenia and high visceral fat predict poor outcomes in patients with Crohn's

Updated: Jun 16

Combination of sarcopenia and high visceral fat predict poor outcomes in patients with Crohn's disease

Boparai G, Kedia S, Kandasamy D, Sharma R, Madhusudhan KS, Dash NR, Sahu P, Pal S, Sahni P, Panwar R, Vuyyuru SK, Kante B, Yadav DP, Mouli VP, Makharia G, Ahuja V Published Oct 2021, in the European journal of clinical nutrition.


Background: Sarcopenia and visceral fat independently predict poor outcomes in Crohn's disease (CD). However, combined influence of these parameters on outcomes is unknown, and was investigated in the present study.

Methods: This retrospective study evaluated skeletal muscle index (SMI-cross-sectional area of five skeletal muscles normalized for height), visceral and subcutaneous fat area and their ratio (VF/SC) on single-slice computed tomography (CT) images at L3 vertebrae in CD patients (CT done: January 2012-December 2015, patients followed till December 2019). Sarcopenia was defined as SMI < 36.5 cm2/m2 and 30.2 cm2/m2 for males and females, respectively. Disease severity, behavior, and long-term outcomes (surgery and disease course) were compared with respect to sarcopenia and VF/SC ratio.

Results: Forty-four patients [age at onset: 34.4 ± 14.1 years, median disease duration: 48 (24-95) months, follow-up duration: 32 (12-53.5) months, males: 63.6%] were included. Prevalence of sarcopenia was 43%, more in females, but independent of age, disease severity, behavior and location. More patients with sarcopenia underwent surgery (31.6% vs 4%, p = 0.01). VF/SC was significantly higher in patients who underwent surgery (1.76 + 1.31 vs 0.9 + 0.41, p = 0.002), and a cutoff of 0.88 could predict surgery with sensitivity and specificity of 71% and 65% respectively. On survival analysis, probability of remaining free of surgery was lower in patients with sarcopenia (59.6% vs 94.1% p = 0.01) and those with VF/SC > 0.88 (66.1% vs 91.1%, p = 0.1), and still lower in those with both sarcopenia and VF/SC > 0.88 than those with either or none (38% vs 82% vs 100%, p = 0.01).

Conclusions: Combination of sarcopenia and high visceral fat predict worse outcomes in CD than either.


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