Morphometric assessments, such as muscle density and body fat distribution, have emerged as strong predictors of cardiovascular risk and postoperative morbidity and mortality. To date, no study has examined morphometric mortality risk prediction among kidney transplant (KT) candidates. KT candidates, waitlisted 2008-2009, were identified (n=96) and followed to the earliest of transplant, death, or administrative end of study. Morphometric measures, including abdominal adipose tissue, paraspinous and psoas muscle composition, and aortic calcification, were measured from CTs. Risk of waitlist mortality was examined using Cox proportional hazard regression. On adjusted analyses, radiologic measures remained independently and significantly associated with lower waitlist mortality; the addition of radiologic measures significantly improved model predictive ability over models containing traditional risk factors alone (net reclassification index: 0.56, 95% CI: 0.31-0.75). Higher psoas muscle attenuation (indicative of leaner muscle) was associated with decreased risk of death (aHR: 0.93, 95% CI: 0.91-0.96, P<.001), and for each unit increase in lean paraspinous volume, there was an associated 2% decreased risk for death (aHR: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.96-0.99, P=.03). Radiologic measures of lean muscle mass, such as psoas muscle attenuation and paraspinous lean volume, may improve waitlist mortality risk prediction and candidate selection.
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