Background and aims: Sarcopenia is associated with fibrotic burden in patients with chronic hepatitis B. We investigated the dynamic association between fibrosis changes and appendicular skeletal muscle mass during antiviral therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis B. Methods: Between 2015 and 2018, chronic hepatitis B patients who received paired transient elastography to assess fibrotic burden in the liver and bioelectrical impedance analysis to assess appendicular skeletal muscle mass were recruited retrospectively. The sarcopenia index was calculated as total appendicular skeletal muscle mass/body mass index. Significant liver fibrosis was defined as a liver stiffness value≥8 kPa. Results: In total, 223 (53.7%) received antiviral therapy, whereas 192 (46.3%) did not. Appendicular skeletal muscle mass decreased significantly in the antiviral therapy group (mean 21.16→21.00 kg, P = 0.01), but not in the non-antiviral therapy group (mean 20.77→20.64 kg, P = 0.134). In a subgroup with significant liver fibrosis, similar findings were observed (mean 20.73→20.54 kg in antiviral therapy group, P = 0.037; mean 21.39→21.07 kg in the non-antiviral therapy group, P = 0.097). Older age, male gender, higher body mass index, and higher aspartate aminotransferase were significantly associated with the increased risk of appendicular skeletal muscle mass reduction (≥5% from the baseline). Conclusions: Appendicular skeletal muscle mass significantly decreased during antiviral therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis B patients.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2019R1A2C4070136). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
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