Differing Impact of Sarcopenia and Frailty in Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis and Alcoholic Liver Disease

Rahima A. Bhanji, Praveena Narayanan, Michael R. Moynagh, Naoki Takahashi, Mounika Angirekula, Cassie C. Kennedy, Kristin C. Mara, Ross A. Dierkhising, Kymberly D. Watt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Sarcopenia and frailty are commonly encountered in patients with end-stage liver disease and are associated with adverse clinical outcomes, including decompensation and wait-list mortality. The impact of these entities in patients with differing disease etiologies has not been elucidated. We aim to ascertain the change in their prevalence over time on the wait list and determine their impact on hospitalization, delisting, and wait-list survival, specifically for patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and alcoholic liver disease (ALD). Adult patients who were evaluated for their first liver transplant from 2014 to 2016 with a primary diagnosis of NASH (n = 136) or ALD (n = 129) were included. Computed tomography scans were used to determine the presence of sarcopenia and myosteatosis. Frailty was diagnosed using the Rockwood frailty index. Patients with NASH had a significantly lower prevalence of sarcopenia (22% versus 47%; P < 0.001) but a significantly higher prevalence of frailty (49% versus 34%; P = 0.03) when compared with patients with ALD at the time of listing. In patients with NASH, sarcopenia was not associated with adverse events, but a higher frailty score was associated with an increased length of hospitalization (P = 0.05) and an increased risk of delisting (P = 0.02). In patients with ALD, univariate analysis showed the presence of sarcopenia was associated with an increased risk of delisting (P = 0.01). In conclusion, sarcopenia and frailty occur with differing prevalence with variable impact on outcomes in wait-listed patients with NASH and ALD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-24
Number of pages11
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Hepatology
  • Transplantation


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