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Low skeletal muscle mass as a risk factor for postoperative delirium in elderly patients undergoing colorectal cancer surgery

Authors Mosk CA, van Vugt JLA, de Jonge H, Witjes CDM, Buettner S, Ijzermans JNM, van der Laan L

Received 31 May 2018

Accepted for publication 13 July 2018

Published 24 October 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 2097—2106


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Christina Alexa Mosk,1 Jeroen LA van Vugt,2 Huub de Jonge,1 Carlijn DM Witjes,2 Stefan Buettner,2 Jan NM Ijzermans,2 Lijckle van der Laan1

1Department of Surgery, Amphia Hospital, Breda, the Netherlands; 2Department of Surgery, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Background: Both low skeletal muscle mass (LSMM) and delirium are frequently seen in elderly patients. This study aimed to investigate the association between preoperative LSMM and postoperative delirium (POD) in elderly patients undergoing colorectal cancer (CRC) surgery and to design a model to predict POD.
Patients and methods: This is a retrospective observational cohort study. Patients aged 70 years or older undergoing CRC surgery from January 2013 to October 2015 were included in this study. The cross-sectional skeletal muscle area at the level of the third lumbar vertebra using computed tomography was adjusted for patients’ height, resulting in the skeletal muscle index. The lowest quartile per sex was defined as LSMM. Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire for Residential Care and KATZ-Activities of Daily Living were used to define malnourishment and physical dependency, respectively. POD was diagnosed using the Delirium Observational Screening Scale and geriatricians’ notes.
Results: Median age of the 251 included patients was 76 years (IQR, 73–80 years), of whom 56% of patients were males, 24% malnourished, and 15% physically impaired. LSMM and POD were diagnosed in 65 and 33 (13%) patients, respectively. POD occurred significantly more in patients with LSMM (25%) compared with patients without LSMM (10%), P=0.006. In the multivariate analysis, age, history of delirium, and LSMM were significantly associated with POD. In addition, this effect increased in patients with LSMM and malnourishment (P=0.019) or physical dependency (P=0.017).
Conclusion: Age, history of delirium, LSMM, and malnourishment or physical dependency were independently associated with POD. Our nomogram could be used to identify patients at an increased risk for delirium. These patients may benefit from intensive monitoring to prevent POD.

Keywords: skeletal muscle mass, sarcopenia, colorectal surgery, postoperative delirium, elderly, nomogram

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