Background: Recently, skeletal muscle depletion (sarcopenia) has been reported to influence postoperative outcomes after certain procedures. This study investigated the impact of sarcopenia on postoperative outcomes following pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD). Methods: We performed a retrospective study of consecutive patients (n = 219) who underwent PD at our institution between January 2007 and May 2013. Sarcopenia was evaluated using preoperative computed tomography. We evaluated postoperative outcomes and the influence of sarcopenia on short-term outcomes, especially infectious complications. Subsequently, multivariate analysis was used to assess the impact of prognostic factors (including sarcopenia) on postoperative infections. Results: The mortality, major complication, and infectious complication rates for all patients were 1.4%, 16.4%, and 47.0%, respectively. Fifty-five patients met the criteria for sarcopenia. Sarcopenia was significantly associated with a higher incidence of in-hospital mortality (P = 0.004) and infectious complications (P < 0.001). In multivariate analyses, sarcopenia (odds ratio = 3.43; P < 0.001), preoperative biliary drainage (odds ratio = 2.20; P = 0.014), blood loss (odds ratio = 1.92; P = 0.048), and soft pancreatic texture (odds ratio = 3.71; P < 0.001) were independent predictors of postoperative infections. Conclusions: Sarcopenia is an independent preoperative predictor of infectious complications after PD. Clinical assessment combined with sarcopenia may be helpful for understanding the risk of postoperative outcomes and determining perioperative management strategies.
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