Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 22, Issue 12, pp 3897–3904 | Cite as

Radiographic Sarcopenia and Self-reported Exhaustion Independently Predict NSQIP Serious Complications After Pancreaticoduodenectomy in Older Adults

  • Malini D. Sur
  • Jukes P. Namm
  • Joshua A. Hemmerich
  • Mary M. Buschmann
  • Kevin K. Roggin
  • William Dale
Pancreatic Tumors



Sarcopenia is linked to poor outcomes after abdominal surgery. We hypothesized that radiographic sarcopenia metrics enhance prediction of complications after pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) when combined with clinical and frailty data.


Preoperative geriatric assessments and CT scans of patients undergoing PD were reviewed. Sarcopenia was assessed at L3 using total psoas area index (TPAI) and weighted average Hounsfield units (HU), i.e., estimates of psoas muscle volume and density. Outcomes included 30-day American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) serious complications, Clavien–Dindo complications, unplanned intensive care unit (ICU) admission, hospital length of stay (LOS), non-home facility (NHF) discharge, and readmission rates.


Low HU score correlated with NSQIP serious complications (r = −0.31, p = 0.0098), Clavien–Dindo complication grade (r = −0.29, p = 0.0183), unplanned ICU admission (r = −0.28, p = 0.0239), and NHF discharge (r = −0.25, p = 0.0426). Controlling for a “base model” of age, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, and comorbidity burden, Fried’s exhaustion (odds ratio [OR] 4.72 [1.23–17.71], p = 0.021), and HU (OR 0.88 [0.79–0.98], p = 0.024) predicted NSQIP serious complications. Area under the receiver-operator characteristic (AUC) curves demonstrated that the combination of the base model, exhaustion, and HU trended towards improving the prediction of NSQIP serious complications compared with the base model alone (AUC = 0.81 vs. 0.70; p = 0.09). Additionally, when controlling for the base model, TPAI (β-coefficient = 0.55 [0.10–1.01], p = 0.018) and exhaustion (β-coefficient = 2.47 [0.75–4.20], p = 0.005) predicted LOS and exhaustion (OR 4.14 [1.48–11.6], p = 0.007) predicted readmissions.


When combined with clinical and frailty assessments, radiographic sarcopenia metrics enhance prediction of post-PD outcomes.


Hounsfield Unit Geriatric Assessment Short Physical Performance Battery Short Physical Performance Battery Score Unplanned Intensive Care Unit Admission 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors gratefully acknowledge Mitchell C. Posner, M.D., Jeffrey B. Matthews, M.D., Eugene A. Choi, M.D., and Alaine Kamm, N.P., who recruited and cared for study patients and collected data; Aparna Palakodeti, Ph.D., who participated in study design and CT analysis; Teresa G. Barry and Randi Rothman, who performed GA and collected data; and Nneka Chukwueke, who collected data. Finally, we dedicate this work to the memory of our beloved friend and colleague, Joshua A. Hemmerich, Ph.D.


This study was funded by Carole and Gordon Segal, the Michael Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, and the Ben D. Kissel Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research. The authors maintained full independence in the conduct of this research and have no commercial interests in the subject of this study.


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malini D. Sur
    • 1
  • Jukes P. Namm
    • 1
  • Joshua A. Hemmerich
    • 2
  • Mary M. Buschmann
    • 2
  • Kevin K. Roggin
    • 1
  • William Dale
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Section of Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine, Department of MedicineThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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