Purpose: Cachexia in patients with hematological malignancies is often related to sarcopenia. We believe that allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (allo-HSCT) patients often exhibit sarcopenia prior to transplantation. Here, we aimed to investigate the prevalence of sarcopenia and its relationship with body composition, physiological function, nutrition, fatigue, and health-related quality of life (QOL) in patients before allo-HSCT. We further investigated the confounding factors associated with sarcopenia.
Methods: We included 164 patients with allo-HSCT in this study. Body composition, handgrip, knee extensor strength, and 6-min walk test were evaluated. Furthermore, fatigue, nutritional status, and health-related QOL were also evaluated.
Results: Eighty-three patients (50.6 %) enrolled in our study had sarcopenia prior to allo-HSCT. Patients with sarcopenia experienced decreased muscular strength and increased fatigue compared with patients without sarcopenia (p < 0.05). Patients with sarcopenia showed significantly lower scores in physical functioning, bodily pain, and vitality in health-related QOL than those without sarcopenia. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that only gender and body mass index were significantly related to sarcopenia (gender, odds ratio, 3.09; body mass index, odds ratio, 0.70; p < 0.01).
Conclusions: Sarcopenia is common in patients before allo-HSCT and related to low muscle strength, fatigue, and health-related QOL. Male patients may be more susceptible to sarcopenia than female patients before allo-HSCT. Further study of rehabilitation with gender insight is warranted for patients receiving allo-HSCT.