Prevalence of sarcopenia and relevance of body composition, physiological function, fatigue, and health-related quality of life in patients before allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Support Care Cancer. 2012 Dec;20(12):3161-8. doi: 10.1007/s00520-012-1460-5. Epub 2012 Apr 12.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cachexia / epidemiology
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Fatigue / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Hand Strength
  • Hematologic Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Hematologic Diseases* / therapy
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sarcopenia / epidemiology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Transplantation, Homologous