Sarcopenia in patients with malignant pleural effusion: impact on symptoms, health status, and response to hospitalization

  • Janet Rodríguez-Torres
  • Laura López-López
  • Irene Cabrera-Martos
  • Gerald Valenza-Demet
  • Lawrence P. Cahalin
  • Marie Carmen ValenzaEmail author
Original Article



Malignant pleural effusion (MPE) refers to the presence of neoplastic cells in the pleural fluid and was previously associated with lung cancer, breast cancer, and lymphoma. Patients with MPE effusion have significant symptoms, diminishing their overall quality of life but little is known about the influence sarcopenia may have on their clinical presentation.


To examine the prevalence of sarcopenia in patients with MPE and its relationship with symptoms, health status, and the response to hospitalization.


Seventy-four patients with MPE underwent measurements of symptoms, health-related quality of life, and functional status upon admission, discharge, and 3 months after hospital discharge.


Patients with MPE and sarcopenia were symptomatic during hospitalization and at discharge. Additionally, health-related quality of life and functional status were worse in patients with MPE and sarcopenia. All measures of patients with MPE and sarcopenia were significantly poorer 3 months after hospital discharge.


Sarcopenia is a clinical characteristic with substantial negative effects in patients with MPE. Specific interventions may need to be provided, designed, and offered in the clinical setting.


Malignant pleural effusion Sarcopenia Hospitalization Symptoms 



The author JRT has received financial support through a FPU (“Formación Profesorado Universitario”) grant (FPU:16/01531) of the Spanish Ministry of Education.

The author LPP has received financial support through a FPU grant (FPU: 17/00408) of the Spanish Ministry of Education.

This research has also received financial support of the “Fundación Pública Andaluza para la Investigación Biosanitaria (FIBAO)”, through a project.

Compliance with ethical standards

All patients’ data are confidential.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.University of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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