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Sarcopenia Diagnosed Using Masseter Muscle Diameter as a Survival Correlate in Elderly Patients with Glioblastoma



Elderly patients with glioblastoma (GBM) have a worse prognosis than do younger patients. The present study aimed to identify the patient, treatment, and imaging features, including measures of sarcopenia, associated with worse survival and 90-day postoperative mortality for elderly patients with GBM.


A single-center retrospective study was conducted of patients aged ≥79 years at surgery who had undergone biopsy or resection of a World Health Organization grade IV GBM at the initial diagnosis. Imaging features of sarcopenia were collected, including the masseter and temporalis muscle diameters. Multivariate analyses were performed to identify factors associated with survival and 30-day complications.


The cohort included 110 patients with a mean age of 82.8 years at surgery and a median preoperative Karnofsky performance scale score of 80. The majority of patients underwent a surgical resection (66.4%) while a minority underwent biopsy (33.6%). Adjuvant chemo- and/or radiation therapy were used in 72.5% of the cohort. On multivariate analysis, age (hazard ratio [HR], 7.97; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.63-36.3), adjuvant therapy (RT or TMZ vs. none: HR, 0.12; 95% CI, 0.05-0.3; RT plus TMZ vs. none: HR, 0.05; 95% CI, 0.02-0.14), surgical resection (HR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.24-0.9), multifocality (HR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.14-6.4), and masseter diameter (HR, 0.12; 95% CI, 0.02-0.78) were associated with survival. Masseter diameter was the only factor associated with 90-day mortality after surgical resection (P = 0.044).


GBM patients over the age of 79 have acceptable outcomes after resection, followed by adjuvant chemotherapy and RT. In addition to the treatment factors that predicted for survival, a decreased masseter diameter on preoperative imaging, a marker of sarcopenia, was associated with shorter overall survival and 90-day mortality after surgical resection.

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