2016 Volume 55 Issue 8 Pages 863-870
Objective Although the prognosis is known to be poor in cirrhosis patients associated with sarcopenia, the relationships among skeletal muscle, visceral fat, and the liver have not yet been thoroughly investigated. Therefore, the prognosis and its associations with body composition and the severity of liver disease were examined in patients with cirrhosis.
Methods The skeletal muscle mass and visceral fat area were measured in 161 patients with cirrhosis, the effects of body composition on the prognosis were analyzed, and any factors that contribute to changes in body composition were assessed.
Results During the mean observation period of 1,005 days, 73 patients died. Patients with sarcopenia or sarcopenic obesity had a poor prognosis, and this difference was pronounced in the subset of patients classified as Child-Pugh class A. A decreased skeletal muscle mass was strongly correlated with decreased serum albumin levels. Sarcopenia is a common feature of advanced cirrhosis, and transitions were observed from normal body composition to sarcopenia and from obese to sarcopenic obesity.
Conclusion The body composition is a prognostic factor for cirrhosis, and a better body composition may be advantageous for obtaining a long-term survival in patients with cirrhosis.