Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 300, Issue 1, pp 201–206 | Cite as

Muscle mass loss in patients with metastatic breast cancer

  • Erich-Franz Solomayer
  • Eva-Marie BraunEmail author
  • Julia Sarah Maria Zimmermann
  • Julia Caroline Radosa
  • Jonas Stroeder
  • Jan Endrikat
  • Christoph Gerlinger
Gynecologic Oncology



To assess the change of body mass index (BMI), muscle mass, visceral and subcutaneous fat in patients with metastatic breast cancer.


In this retrospective chart analysis, patients with metastatic breast cancer as initial diagnosis between 2012 and 2016 were analyzed. Patients had received either chemotherapy (CTH) or endocrine therapy (ETH) according to the German S3 Guideline. BMI was calculated from the patients’ weight and height. Change of muscle mass, visceral and subcutaneous fat was determined by comparing the surface area of these tissues on transverse CT images at the level of the third lumbar vertebrae (L3) at baseline and during treatment.


A total of 45 patients were included in the study, 29 on CTH and 16 on ETH. BMI, visceral and subcutaneous fat remained stable over time for both treatment groups. When taking both treatment groups together, muscle mass decreased significantly by 5.0 ± 2.5 cm2 per year (p < 0.05).


In patients with metastatic breast cancer, a slight reduction of muscle mass was observed, independent of therapy regimes.


Breast cancer Body mass index Muscle mass Body fat Gynecologic oncology 


Author contributions

EFS, EMB, JCR, JE and CG designed the study and drafted the manuscript. EMB, JSMZ and JS performed the measurements. JSMZ and JS helped draft the manuscript. In addition, each author has read and approved the final version of the manuscript.



Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

As this was exclusively a retrospective review of patient records, no formal ethical approval was required after the regulations of Saarland University and Saarland ethics committee. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Human and animal participant rights statement

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Reproductive MedicineSaarland University HospitalHomburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologySaarland University HospitalHomburgGermany

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