Multilevel Body Composition Analysis on Chest Computed Tomography Predicts Hospital Length of Stay and Complications after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer: A Multicenter Study

Till D. Best, Sarah F. Mercaldo, Darren S. Bryan, Jan Peter Marquardt, Maria M. Wrobel, Christopher P. Bridge, Fabian M. Troschel, Cylen Javidan, Jonathan H. Chung, Ashok Muniappan, Sanjeev Bhalla, Bryan F. Meyers, Mark K. Ferguson, Henning A. Gaissert, Florian J. Fintelmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective:To investigate the impact of thoracic body composition on outcomes after lobectomy for lung cancerSummary and Background Data:Preoperative identification of patients at risk for adverse outcomes permits treatment modification. The impact of body composition on lung resection outcomes has not been investigated in a multicenter setting.Methods:A total of 958 consecutive patients undergoing lobectomy for lung cancer at 3 centers from 2014 to 2017 were retrospectively analyzed. Muscle and adipose tissue cross-sectional area at the fifth, eighth, and tenth thoracic vertebral body was quantified. Prospectively collected outcomes from a national database were abstracted to characterize the association between sums of muscle and adipose tissue and hospital length of stay (LOS), number of any postoperative complications, and number of respiratory postoperative complications using multivariate regression. A priori determined covariates were forced expiratory volume in 1 second and diffusion capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide predicted, age, sex, body mass index, race, surgical approach, smoking status, Zubrod and American Society of Anesthesiologists scores.Results:Mean patient age was 67 years, body mass index 27.4 kg/m2and 65% had stage i disease. Sixty-three percent underwent minimally invasive lobectomy. Median LOS was 4 days and 34% of patients experienced complications. Muscle (using 30 cm2increments) was an independent predictor of LOS (adjusted coefficient 0.972; P = 0.002), any postoperative complications (odds ratio 0.897; P = 0.007) and postoperative respiratory complications (odds ratio 0.860; P = 0.010). Sarcopenic obesity was also associated with LOS and adverse outcomes.Conclusions:Body composition on preoperative chest computed tomography is an independent predictor of LOS and postoperative complications after lobectomy for lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E708-E715
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • BMI
  • LOS
  • adipose tissue
  • adverse events
  • body composition
  • body composition analysis
  • body mass index
  • complications
  • length of stay
  • lobectomy
  • lung cancer
  • lung resection
  • morphometric analysis
  • morphometrics
  • multilevel
  • multilevel body composition
  • muscle
  • postoperative events
  • sarcopenia
  • sarcopenic obesity
  • skeletal muscle
  • surgery


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