Paediatrics Publications

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Liver Transplantation





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Sarcopenia predicts morbidity and mortality in adults with end-stage liver disease (ESLD) and is determined by total psoas muscle area (tPMA) measurement from computed tomography (CT) imaging. Recently developed pediatric age- and sex-specific tPMA growth curves provide the opportunity to ascertain prevalence and impact of sarcopenia in children awaiting liver transplantation (LT). This retrospective single-center study evaluated sarcopenia in children between 1 and 16 years with ESLD and a clinically indicated abdominal CT less than 3 months before first isolated LT. Sarcopenia was defined as tPMA z score less than −2 measured at the intervertebral L4-5 level. Patient demographic, biochemical, and outcome data were recorded. tPMA was compared with other measures of nutritional status using univariate and multivariate logistic analyses. Outcome measures included 1-year morbidity events and mortality after LT. CT images from 25 (64% female) children with median age of 5.50 (interquartile range [IQR], 3.75-11.33) years were reviewed. Ten children (40%) had a tPMA z score less than −2. Sarcopenia was associated with lower z scores for weight (odds ratio [OR], 0.38; P = 0.02), height (OR, 0.32; P = 0.03), and nutritional support before LT (OR, 12.93; P = 0.01). Sarcopenic children had a longer duration of pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) stay (3.50 [IQR, 3.00-6.00] versus 2.00 [IQR, 2.00-3.50] days; P = 0.03). Sarcopenia was prevalent in 40% of children with ESLD awaiting LT, and lower tPMA z score was associated with deficient anthropometrics and need for nutritional support before LT. Post-LT PICU duration was increased in children with sarcopenia, reflecting adverse outcomes associated with muscle loss. Further studies are needed to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of sarcopenia in children with ESLD.