The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2017 American Transplant Congress (ATC) in Chicago, Illinois. Renal and Urology News‘ staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in transplantation. Check back for the latest news from ATC 2017.

Low muscle mass in obese kidney transplant recipients is associated with increased risk of death, but not graft loss, according to study findings presented at the 2017 American Transplant Congress in Chicago.

The study, by Jean-Sébastien Souweine, MD, of the University Hospital of Montpellier in Montpellier, France, and colleagues, included 689 kidney transplant recipients with a mean age of 49 years. The investigators placed patients into 1 of 3 groups according to body mass index (BMI): less than 18.5, 18.5–30, and 30 kg/m2 or higher. They evaluated the effect of muscle mass using tertile of muscle mass stratified by sex and split each group of BMI into 2 groups: low and high muscle mass, stratified by sex, according to the median of muscle mass.

Of the 689 patients, 71 were obese (BMI 30 kg/m2 or higher). During a follow-up of 126 months, 70 patients died and 84 lost their graft. Obesity did not predict transplant outcomes, but patients in the first tertile of muscle mass had a significant 84% higher risk of death than those in the second tertile. In the obese recipients, low muscle mass was an independent risk factor for mortality compared with patients who had a BMI of 18.5 to 30 kg/m2 and high muscle mass. Obese patients with low muscle mass did not have an elevated risk of graft loss.

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Souweine J, Le Quintrec M, Szwarc I, et al. Muscle mass is predictive of mortality in obese renal transplant patients. [abstract]. Am J Transplant 2017;17 (suppl 3). Poster presented at the 2017 American Transplant Congress in Chicago, April 29-May 3. Abstract D145.