Impact of sarcopenia on the surgical outcomes in patients with hepatolithiasis: A multicenter 10-year experience

Published:October 22, 2022DOI:



      The impact of sarcopenia on the surgical outcomes of hepatectomy for hepatolithiasis has not been investigated. The present study elucidated the effect of sarcopenia on short-term outcomes after hemihepatectomy for hepatolithiasis and investigated the benefit of different surgical approaches to hepatectomy in patients with sarcopenia.


      Patients who underwent hemihepatectomy for hepatolithiasis at Fujian Provincial Hospital and 5 other medical centers from 2010 to 2020 were enrolled. The sarcopenic obesity subgroup had sarcopenia coexisting with obesity, and the sarcopenic nonobesity subgroup had sarcopenia without obesity. We analyzed the postoperative outcomes of the sarcopenia group, sarcopenic obesity subgroup and sarcopenic nonobesity subgroup and the corresponding benefits of different surgical approaches.


      Patients with sarcopenia (n = 481) had worse surgical outcomes than nonsarcopenia, such as longer postoperative hospital duration of stay, longer time to oral intake, longer time to bowel movement, and longer time to off-bed activities. In postoperative short-term outcomes, we also found that sarcopenia had higher rates of major complications, bile leakage, and intensive care unit occupancy than the nonsarcopenic group. Subgroup analysis showed that sarcopenic obesity subgroup (n = 182) had the worst results in intraoperative outcomes and postoperative short-term outcomes. Multivariate analysis identified sarcopenic obesity as a significant risk factor for postoperative hospital duration of stay (hazard ratio = 2.994, P < .001). Furthermore, the sarcopenic obesity and sarcopenic nonobesity (n = 299) subgroups benefited from laparoscopic surgery compared with open surgery, including postoperative recovery and major complications (all P < .05). However, sarcopenic nonobesity subgroup had more significant benefits of laparoscopy than the sarcopenic obesity subgroup. The learning curve for laparoscopic hemihepatectomy for the sarcopenic obesity subgroup had a plateau, and the surgical outcomes of the sarcopenic obesity subgroup were closer to the sarcopenic nonobesity subgroup after the plateau.


      Sarcopenia is associated with more adverse events after hepatectomy and patients with sarcopenic obesity have a higher incidence of adverse events. Patients with sarcopenia could benefit from laparoscopy. Compared with the sarcopenic obesity patients, the sarcopenic nonobesity patients benefited more from laparoscopy. Although the sarcopenic obesity patients had more complications and slower postoperative recovery than the sarcopenic nonobesity patients, laparoscopic also could improve their short-term outcomes, but a longer learning curve was required.
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