Background: Body weight loss is a frequent complication after stroke, and its adverse effect on clinical outcome has been shown in several clinical trials. The purpose of this prospective longitudinal single-centre observational study was to investigate dynamical changes of body composition and body weight after ischemic stroke and an association with functional outcome.
Methods: Sixty-seven consecutive patients (age 69 ± 11 years, body mass index 27.0 ± 4.1 kg/m2, 42% female patient, mean ± SD) with acute ischemic stroke with mild to moderate neurological deficit (National Institute of Health Stroke Scale median 4, ranged 0–12) were analysed in the acute phase (4 ± 2 days) and at 12 months (389 ± 26 days) follow-up. Body composition was examined by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Cachexia was defined according to the consensus definition by body weight loss ≥5% within 1 year and additional clinical signs. Lean tissue wasting was considered if a ratio of upper and lower limbs lean mass sum to squared height (kg/m2) was ≤5.45 kg/m2 for female patient and ≤7.25 kg/m2 for male patient.
Results: According to the body weight changes after 12 months, 42 (63%) patients had weight gain or stable weight, 11 (16%) patients had moderate weight loss, and 14 (21%) patients became cachectic. A relative decline of 19% of fat tissue and 6.5% of lean tissue was observed in cachectic patients, while no changes of lean tissue were observed in non-cachectic patients after 12 months. The modified Rankin Scale was 48% higher (2.1 ± 1.6, P < 0.05), Barthel Index was 22% lower (71 ± 39, P < 0.01), and handgrip strength was 34% lower (21.9 ± 13.0, P < 0.05) in cachectic compared to non-cachectic patients after 12 months.
The low physical performance if defined by Barthel Index <60 points was linked to the lean tissue wasting (OR 44.8, P < 0.01), presence of cachexia (OR 20.8, P < 0.01), and low body mass index <25 kg/m2 (OR 11.5, P < 0.05). After adjustment for cofounders, lean tissue wasting remained independently associated with the low physical performance at 12 months follow-up (OR 137.9, P < 0.05).
Conclusions: In this cohort study, every fifth patient with ischemic stroke fulfilled the criteria of cachexia within 12 months after index event. The incidence of cachexia was 21%. Cachectic patients showed the lowest functional and physical capacity.
600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften::610 Medizin und Gesundheit::610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Body weight changes and incidence of cachexia after stroke
Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin