Sarcopenia, a strong determinant for prolonged feeding tube dependency after chemoradiotherapy for head and neck cancer

Rebecca T. Karsten, Abrahim Al-Mamgani, Sandra I. Bril, Sheena Tjon-A-Joe, Lisette van der Molen, Jan P. de Boer, Frans J. M. Hilgers, Ludi E. Smeele, Michiel W. M. van den Brekel, Martijn M. Stuiver

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    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Sarcopenia might be a relevant lead for optimization of the condition of patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) before chemoradiotherapy (CRT) to prevent long-term functional swallowing impairment, such as feeding tube dependency.

    METHODS: Regression analyses were performed to assess the association between skeletal muscle mass index (SMI), as a measure of sarcopenia, and prolonged (>90 days) feeding tube dependency in 128 patients with HNC treated with primary CRT.

    RESULTS: Sixty-one patients (48%) became prolonged feeding tube-dependent. Lower SMI increased the risk of prolonged feeding tube dependency in multivariable analysis (risk ratio 1.08; 95% confidence interval 1.02-1.14, P = .01) adjusted for body mass index, abnormal diet, and socioeconomic status.

    CONCLUSIONS: Sarcopenia contributes to the risk of prolonged feeding tube dependency of patients with HNC treated with primary CRT. As sarcopenia might be a modifiable factor prior to treatment, it should be explored as a target for pretreatment patients' condition.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4000-4008
    JournalHead & neck
    Volume41
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

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