Prognostic significance of low muscle volume in patients undergoing surgery for oesophageal cancer

Arfon Powell*, Mubashir Mulla, Catherine Eley, Neil Patel, Tarig Abdelrahman, Paul Blake, Rachael Barlow, Damian Bailey, Wyn Lewis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background & aims: This study aimed to determine the prognostic significance of low muscle volume (LMV) Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), defined skeletal muscle index (SMI, Kg/m2 male ≤8.75, female ≤5.75) in patients undergoing potentially curative surgery for Oesophageal Cancer (OC). Methods: A prospective study of 122 patients diagnosed with OC [median age 65 yr, 104 male, 65 neoadjuvant therapy] who underwent preoperative BIA (Maltron Bioscan 920). Primary outcome measure was Overall Survival (OS). Results: LMV was identified in 11 (9.0%) of patients, which was associated with low lean muscle mass (27.3 vs. 31.1 kg, p = 0.012), low body fat (8.8 vs.19.3 kg, p < 0.001), and greater total body water (72.2 vs. 62.2%, p = 0.001), and more open & close laparotomies (36.4 vs. 8.1%, p = 0.012). Median and 5-year OS was 16 months and 18.2% in LMV patients, compared with 51 months and 52.4% in non-sarcopenic patients (p = 0.002). On multivariable analysis of pre-operative variables, only LMV (HR 2.75; 95% CI 1.33–5.66, p = 0.006) was associated with OS. Conclusion: BIA is an important prognostic indicator in OC and focused pre-habilitation consequently has strong potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-225
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Nutrition ESPEN
Early online date9 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Low muscle volume
  • Morbidity
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Survival


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