Intra-Abdominal Fat Predicts Hepatectomy Complications

Is a better measure of risk of complications than outer-abdominal fat, BMI

THURSDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Use of imaging to identify patients with intra-abdominal fat, as opposed to outer-abdominal fat or mere high body mass index (BMI), may help assess risk for increased complications, including death, following major hepatectomy, according to research published in the November issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Katherine Morris, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues compared mortality, morbidity, hospital stay, and operating times in 349 patients undergoing major hepatic resection. The patients were measured for perinephric fat and outer-abdominal fat, and preoperative abdominal computed tomography scans were examined.

The researchers found that BMI significantly influenced operating time but none of the other outcomes that were studied. Outer-abdominal fat had no impact on any of the outcomes studied, including operating time. Perinephric fat (as a surrogate for intra-abdominal fat) measurements, however, significantly affected mortality, frequency of complications and severe complications, and length of stay. The authors concluded that measurement of perinephric fat on preoperative imaging was a more useful risk assessment in these patients than outer appearances of obesity.

"Studies such as ours may allow researchers to arrive at a panel of measurements that could be applied in daily planning in hospitals. One could imagine a patient body assessment that can be used to determine reasonable ranges of operating room use, hospital bed occupation, and expected charges for operations," the authors write.

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