Background. Sarcopenia has been identified as a predictive variable for surgical outcomes. We hypothesized that sarcopenia could be a key measure to identify frail patients and potentially predict poorer outcomes among recipients of simultaneous pancreas and kidney (SPK) transplants. Methods. We estimated sarcopenia by measuring psoas muscle mass index (PMI). PMI was assessed on perioperative computed tomography (CT) scans of SPK recipients. Results. Of the 141 patients identified between 2010 and 2018, 107 had a CT scan available and were included in the study. The median follow-up was 4 years (range, 0.5-9.1 y). Twenty-three patients had a low PMI, and 84 patients had a normal PMI. Patient characteristics were similar between the 2 groups except for body mass index, which was significantly lower in low PMI group (P < 0.001). Patient and kidney graft survival were not statistically different between groups (P = 0.851 and P = 0.357, respectively). A multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that patients with a low PMI were 5 times more likely to lose their pancreas allograft (hazard ratios, 5.4; 95% confidence intervals, 1.4-20.8; P = 0.015). Three out of 6 patients lost their pancreas graft due to rejection in the low PMI group, compared with 1 out of 9 patients in the normal PMI group. Among low PMI patients who had a follow-up CT scan, 62.5% (5/8) of those with a functional pancreas graft either improved or resolved sarcopenia, whereas 75.0% (3/4) of those who lost their pancreas graft continued to lose muscle mass. Conclusion. Sarcopenia could represent one of the predictors of pancreas graft failure and should be evaluated and potentially optimized in SPK recipients.
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