Some predictive markers of death have been reported for patients on the waiting list for lung transplantation (LTx). We assessed whether or not the preoperative psoas muscle index (PMI) correlates with waitlist mortality.
In 81 patients with end-stage lung disease on the waiting list for LTx between 2011 and 2020 at Osaka University Hospital, we examined the association between baseline characteristics, including the diagnosis, respiratory function test results, blood collection items, steroid use, and psoas muscle mass on computed tomography, and survival during the waiting period using Kaplan–Meier curves and Cox proportional hazard regression models.
Thirty-three patients (41%) died during follow-up. Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that patients with a low PMI had a higher rate of death during follow-up than those with a high PMI (p < 0.0001 and 0.0002, respectively). In addition, a diagnosis of interstitial pneumonia (hazard ratio 3.30, 95% confidence interval 1.52–7.17, p = 0.0025) and low albumin level (hazard ratio 2.21, 95% confidence interval 1.02–4.80, p = 0.0449) were also significant predictors of survival.
A low PMI at registration is associated with a decreased survival time among LTx candidates and it may be a predictive factor of mortality in patients waiting for LTx.