UMMS Affiliation

Department of Surgery, Division of Organ Transplantation; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Department of Surgery, Center for Outcomes Research; Department of Radiology; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Clinical and Population Health Research Program

Publication Date


Document Type



Digestive System Diseases | Hepatology | Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms | Surgery | Surgical Procedures, Operative


OBJECTIVES: A growing body of evidence shows that frailty and functional performance predict liver transplant outcomes. The Organ Procurement and Transplant Network uses the Karnofsky Performance Status scale to adjust for transplant center case mix in assessing quality measures. This study explores the strength of the relationship between Karnofsky Performance Status scores and objective measures of frailty.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This observational study includes 136 adult, first-time liver transplant recipients at UMass Memorial (2006-2015) who had 2 abdominal computed tomography scans available (at < /= 90 days pretransplant and > /= 7 days before that). We analyzed the relationship between Karnofsky Performance Status and muscle wasting using absolute and change in psoas muscle size and quality pretransplant.

RESULTS: The mean age was 55 years, mean Model for End-Stage Liver Disease was 22, and 34% of patients were women. In the study group, 50% of patients had sarcopenia pretransplant and 71.3% demonstrated declined lean psoas area at an average rate of 11% per month. Patients who experienced muscle wasting at a rate of > /= 1% per month had 2.83 times the risk (95% confidence interval, 1.18-6.80) of being severely impaired/disabled pretransplant. The risk increased by 2.32-fold (95% confidence interval, 1.44-3.75) for every standard deviation decrease in pretransplant lean psoas area.

CONCLUSIONS: Provider-assessed physical health status moderately correlates with objective measures of frailty.


Biostatistics, Frailty, Hepatology, Karnofsky Performance Status, United Network for Organ Sharing

Rights and Permissions

Copyright © Başkent University 2018

DOI of Published Version



Exp Clin Transplant. 2018 Oct 5. doi: 10.6002/ect.2018.0018. [Epub ahead of print] Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Experimental and clinical transplantation : official journal of the Middle East Society for Organ Transplantation

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID