Poorer outcomes associated with sarcopenia following emergency laparotomy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Zi Qin Ng, Ryan Cohen, Philip Misur, Dieter G. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Despite the negative effect of sarcopenia on postoperative outcomes being well recognized in the elective setting, there remains a paucity of studies describing this phenomenon in the emergency laparotomy (EL) setting. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to compare short- and long-term postoperative outcomes following EL in patients with and without sarcopenia. Methods: A systematic review using PRISMA guidelines was used to identify studies comparing perioperative outcomes following EL for patients with and without sarcopenia. A subsequent meta-analysis was conducted. The following data were extracted from the included studies: patient demographics, pathology or type of operation performed for EL, post-operative mortality at inpatient, 30-day, 90-day and 1-year, and functional outcomes. A quality assessment of included studies was undertaken. Results: Twelve studies reporting the outcomes of sarcopenia following EL were identified. Sarcopenia was significantly associated with higher 30-day and 1-year mortality rates following EL (OR 3.50, P < 0.01; OR 3.49, P < 0.01, respectively). Additionally, sarcopenia was significantly associated with unfavourable functional outcomes at discharge following emergency laparotomy (OR 2.44, p < 0.01). Conclusion: Opportunistically identified on cross-sectional imaging, sarcopenia is a valuable predictor of short- and long-term morbidity and mortality following EL. Further studies are required to identify the most appropriate diagnostic criteria of sarcopenia and better define this physiological phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3145-3153
Number of pages9
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number12
Early online dateMar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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