Computed tomography–quantified body composition predicts short-term outcomes after gastrectomy in gastric cancer

Y. Zhang, J. P. Wang, X. L. Wang, H. Tian, T. T. Gao, L. M. Tang, F. Tian, J. W. Wang, H. J. Zheng, L. Zhang, X. J. Gao, G. L.. Li, X. Y. Wang



Malnutrition is a common and critical problem that influences outcome in cancer patients. Body composition reflects a patient’s metabolic profile and physiologic reserves, which might be the true determinant of prognosis. In the present study, which aimed to identify valuable new prognostic indicators, we investigated the association between computed tomography–quantified body composition and short-term outcomes after gastrectomy for gastric cancer.


Skeletal muscle index, mean muscle attenuation, and ratio of visceral-to-subcutaneous adipose tissue area (vsr) were calculated from preoperative computed tomography images. Low skeletal muscle index, low mean muscle attenuation, and high vsr were respectively termed “sarcopenia,” “myosteatosis,” and “visceral obesity.” The association of body composition with postoperative complications and serum markers of nutrition and inflammation after radical gastrectomy were analyzed.


The overall complication rate was significantly higher in the sarcopenia (62.5% vs. 27.3%, p = 0.001) and myosteatosis groups (38.2% vs. 4%, p = 0.002). Patients with visceral obesity had a higher incidence of inflammatory complications (20.3% vs. 6.5%, p = 0.01). Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that sarcopenia (p = 0.013), myosteatosis (p = 0.017), and low serum retinol-binding protein (p = 0.019) were independent risk factors for overall complications. Compared with control subjects, patients with sarcopenia had lower postoperative levels of serum retinol-binding protein (p = 0.007), and patients with visceral obesity had higher levels of C-reactive protein (p = 0.026).


Sarcopenia, myosteatosis, and visceral obesity were significantly associated with increased rates of postoperative complications and affected the postoperative nutrition and inflammation status of patients with gastric cancer.


Body composition; sarcopenia; myosteatosis; visceral obesity; gastrectomy; complications


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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)