Preoperative sarcopenia status is associated with lymphovascular invasion in upper tract urothelial carcinoma patients treated with radical nephroureterectomy

Tadatsugu Anno, Eiji Kikuchi, Keishiro Fukumoto, Koichiro Ogihara, Mototsugu Oya


Introduction: Sarcopenia is a novel concept representing skeletal muscle wasting and has been identified as a prognostic factor for several cancers. The aims of this study were to evaluate the prognostic significance of sarcopenia and the relationship between sarcopenia and poor pathological findings in upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) patients who underwent radical nephroureterectomy (RNU).

Methods: We identified 123 UTUC patients who underwent RNU between 2003 and 2014.We assessed sarcopenia by measuring the area of skeletal muscle at the third lumber vertebra on preoperative computed tomography scans. Sarcopenia was classified based on a sex-specific consensus definition. We investigated whether sarcopenia predicts clinical outcomes such as cancer death and poor pathological findings at RNU.

Results: A total of 40.7% of patients (n=50) had sarcopenia. In a multivariate Cox regression analysis, sarcopenia was not associated with cancer-specific survival (CSS), and lymphovascular invasion (LVI) (hazard ratio 5.88; p=0.002) was the only independent risk factor for CSS. A multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that sarcopenia independently correlated with the LVI status (odds ratio 2.36; p=0.025). LVI was positive in 27 out of 50 (54%) and 25 out of 73 (34%) patients with and without sarcopenia, respectively (p=0.029).

Conclusions: Preoperative sarcopenia predicted the LVI status, which was a strong prognostic factor for UTUC patients after RNU.

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