Prognostic Significance Of Sarcopenia In Patients Undergoing Esophagectomy For Superficial Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Nononcological prognostic factors in superficial esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (SESCC) patients remain unclear. The aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship between sarcopenia and surgical outcome in patients with SESCC who had undergone definitive surgery. A total of 194 SESCC patients who had undergone thoracic esophagectomy with three-field lymphadenectomy without neoadjuvant therapy at Tokai University Hospital between January 2006 and December 2015 were analyzed retrospectively. Manual tracing using CT imaging was used to measure the cross-sectional areas of the skeletal muscle mass. The cutoff values for the skeletal muscle index used to define sarcopenia were based on the results of a previous study. Twenty-eight patients (14.4%) had sarcopenia, while the remaining 166 patients (85.6%) did not. A multivariate analysis suggested that sarcopenia was an independent risk factor for postoperative pulmonary complications (OR = 3.232, P = 0.026). The overall survival rate and the disease-free survival rate were both significantly worse in the sarcopenia group than in the nonsarcopenia group (P < 0.001). In a multivariate analysis, sarcopenia was an independent prognostic factor affecting overall survival (HR = 7.121, P < 0.001) and disease-free survival (HR = 6.000, P < 0.001). Patients with sarcopenia and lymph node metastasis (n = 18) had a worse outcome than the other patients (P < 0.001). This study suggests that the alleviation of sarcopenia through nutritional support and rehabilitation in SESCC patients scheduled to undergo surgery might help to prevent postoperative pulmonary complications and to improve the long-term outcome.