Aim: The present study investigated the effect of sarcopenia on short- and long-term surgical outcomes and identified potential prognostic factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) following hepatectomy among patients 70 years of age and older. Methods: Patient data were retrospectively collected for 296 consecutive patients who underwent hepatectomy for HCC with curative intent. Patients were assigned to two groups according to age (younger than 70 years, and 70 years and older), and the presence of sarcopenia. The clinicopathological, surgical outcome, and long-term survival data were analyzed. Results: Sarcopenia was present in 112 of 296 (37.8%) patients with HCC, and 35% of patients aged 70 years and older. Elderly patients had significantly lower serum albumin levels, prognostic nutrition index, percentage of liver cirrhosis, and histological intrahepatic metastasis compared with patients younger than 70 years. Overall survival and disease-free survival rates in patients with sarcopenia correlated with significantly poor prognosis in the group aged 70 years and older. Multivariate analysis revealed that sarcopenia was predictive of an unfavorable prognosis. Conclusion: This retrospective analysis revealed that sarcopenia was predictive of worse overall survival and recurrence-free survival after hepatectomy in patients 70 years of age and older with HCC.
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