A practical measurement of thoracic sarcopenia: Correlation with clinical parameters and outcomes in advanced lung cancer

European Respiratory Society
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Journal Article
ERJ Open Research, 2016, 2 (2), pp. 1 - 3
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To the Editor: Sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass, is common in chronic disease, and has been hypothesised to contribute to fatigue and breathlessness [1, 2]. The research gold standard for assessing sarcopenia relies on whole-body, cross-sectional imaging, an impractical approach in routine care [3]. A more practical alternative measures lumbar skeletal muscle density at L3 using computed tomography (CT) normalised for height, termed the skeletal muscle index (SMI) [4]. While evidence suggests that reduced lumbar SMI correlates with adverse clinical outcomes, such as mortality in lung or colorectal cancers [5], little research has explored how this measure of sarcopenia relates to breathlessness or exercise tolerance.
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