Characterization of Sarcopenia in an IBD Population Attending an Italian Gastroenterology Tertiary Center

Marco Pizzoferrato, Roberto de Sire, Fabio Ingravalle, Maria Chiara Mentella, Valentina Petito, Anna Maria Martone, Francesco Landi, Giacinto Abele Donato Miggiano, Maria Cristina Mele, Loris Riccardo Lopetuso, Elisa Schiavoni, Daniele Napolitano, Laura Turchini, Andrea Poscia, Nicola Nicolotti, Alfredo Papa, Alessandro Armuzzi, Franco Scaldaferri, Antonio Gasbarrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


(1) Background: There is growing interest in the assessment of muscular mass in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as sarcopenia is associated with important outcomes. The aim of the study was to evaluate the percentage of sarcopenia in IBD patients, characterizing methods for assessment and clinical symptoms associated to it. (2) Methods: Consecutive IBD patients accessing the Fondazione Policlinico Agostino Gemelli Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico (IRCCS) were enrolled. Healthy patients, elderly or elderly sarcopenic patients, were enrolled as controls. Skeletal muscle mass was evaluated by Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) or Bio-Impedensometric Analysis (BIA). Asthenia degree was assessed by subjective visual analogue scales (VAS). Quality of life was measured by the EQ-5D questionnaire. (3) Results: Patients with IBD showed a significant reduction in skeletal muscle mass than healthy controls with lower DEXA and BIA parameters. Moreover, IBD patients presented a lower perception of muscle strength with a higher incidence of asthenia and reduction in quality of life when compared with healthy controls. A significant association between loss in skeletal muscle mass and high asthenia degree was found, configuring a condition of sarcopenia in about one third of patients with IBD. (4) Conclusions: Sarcopenia is common in IBD patients and it is associated with fatigue perception as well as a reduction in quality of life. Therefore, routine assessment of nutritional status and body composition should be a cornerstone in clinical practice, bringing gastroenterologists and nutritionists closer together for a compact, defined picture.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Sep 24 2019


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