The relationship between muscle protein content and CT-derived muscle radio-density in patients with upper GI cancer

Michael I Ramage, Neil Johns, Christopher D A Deans, James A Ross, Thomas Preston, Richard J E Skipworth, Carsten Jacobi, Kenneth C H Fearon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Cancer cachexia is a multifactorial syndrome characterized by skeletal muscle loss. Cross-sectional analysis of CT scans is a recognized research method for assessing skeletal muscle volume. However, little is known about the relationship between CT-derived estimates of muscle radio-density (SMD) and muscle protein content. We assessed the relationship between CT-derived body composition variables and the protein content of muscle biopsies from cancer patients.

METHODS: Rectus abdominis biopsies from cancer patients (n = 32) were analysed for protein content and correlated with phenotypic data gathered using CT body composition software.

RESULTS: Skeletal muscle protein content varied widely between patients (median μg/mg wet weight = 89.3, range 70-141). There was a weak positive correlation between muscle protein content and SMD (r = 0.406, p = 0.021), and a weak positive correlation between protein content and percentage weight change (r = 0.416, p = 0.018).

CONCLUSION: The protein content of skeletal muscle varies widely in cancer patients and cannot be accurately predicted by CT-derived muscle radio-density.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Nutrition
Early online date27 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Dec 2016

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