BACKGROUND: This study investigated whether lower extremity muscle atrophy and myosteatosis in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) are correlated to postoperative outcomes, such as reintervention or amputation-free survival.
METHODS: In this single-center retrospective cohort study of 462 patients treated for peripheral arterial disease scheduled for intervention, muscle mass and the presence of fattening of the lower extremity muscles were measured semiautomatically in a single computed tomography slice of the treated leg. Binary logistic regression models and Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine the effect of muscle atrophy and myosteatosis on reintervention and amputation.
RESULTS: Muscle atrophy and myosteatosis increased in PAD patients with Fontaine class IV compared with Fontaine class IIa. In PAD patients with muscle atrophy or myosteatosis, no association was found with the reintervention rate or reintervention-free survival, but an association was found with amputation-free survival, even after adjustment for patient-related, disease-severity, and comorbidities-related factors.
CONCLUSION: Muscle atrophy and mysosteatosis increased in PAD patients with increasing disease severity. Lower extremity muscle atrophy and myosteatosis are associated with amputation rate and amputation-free survival in PAD patients. No association with reintervention rate or reintervention-free survival was found. Muscle atrophy and myosteatosis may serve as additional risk factors in decision making in the often frail vascular patient.