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Clinical impact of sarcopenia assessment in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma undergoing treatments

Authors
  • Marasco, Giovanni1
  • Serenari, Matteo1
  • Renzulli, Matteo2
  • Alemanni, Luigina Vanessa1
  • Rossini, Benedetta1
  • Pettinari, Irene2
  • Dajti, Elton1
  • Ravaioli, Federico1
  • Golfieri, Rita2
  • Cescon, Matteo1
  • Festi, Davide1
  • Colecchia, Antonio3
  • 1 University of Bologna,
  • 2 Sant’Orsola Malpighi Hospital,
  • 3 University Hospital Borgo Trento,
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Gastroenterology
Publisher
Springer Singapore
Publication Date
Aug 03, 2020
Volume
55
Issue
10
Pages
927–943
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00535-020-01711-w
PMID: 32748172
PMCID: PMC7519899
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Changes in body composition are associated with poor outcomes in cancer patients including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Sarcopenia, defined as the loss of skeletal muscle mass, quality and function, has been associated with a higher rate of complications and recurrences in patients with cirrhosis and HCC. The assessment of patient general status before HCC treatment, including the presence of sarcopenia, is a key-point for achieving therapy tolerability and to avoid short- and long-term complications leading to poor patients’ survival. Thus, we aimed to review the current literature evaluating the role of sarcopenia assessment related to HCC treatments and to critically provide the clinicians with the most recent and valuable evidence. As a result, sarcopenia can be predictive of poor outcomes in patients undergoing liver resection, transplantation and systemic therapies, offering the chance to clinicians to improve the muscular status of these patients, especially those with high-grade sarcopenia at high risk of mortality. Further studies are needed to clarify the predictive value of sarcopenia in other HCC treatment settings and to evaluate its role as an additional staging tool for identifying the most appropriate treatment. Besides, interventional studies aiming at increasing the skeletal muscle mass for reducing complications and increasing the survival in patients with HCC are needed.

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