Association of endothelial dysfunction with sarcopenia and muscle function in a relatively young cohort of kidney transplant recipients

Siok Bin Khoo, Yu Li Lin, Guan Jin Ho, Ming Che Lee, Bang Gee Hsu

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Sarcopenia and endothelial dysfunction are both common among kidney transplant (KT) recipients. We aimed to evaluate the association between endothelial dysfunction and sarcopenia, as well as its individual components. Methods: Vascular reactivity index (VRI), skeletal muscle index (SMI = skeletal muscle mass/height2), handgrip strength (HGS), and 6-meter usual gait speed (GS) were measured in 95 KT recipients. Low SMI was defined as SMI less than 10% of the sex-specific reference values from Chinese adults; low HGS as HGS < 28 kg for men and < 18 kg for women; slow GS as GS below 1.0 m/s. Sarcopenia was diagnosed based on the presence of low SMI as an essential criterion, accompanied by either low HGS or slow GS. Vascular reactivity was classified as being indicative of poor (VRI < 1.0), intermediate (1.0 ≤ VRI < 2.0), or good (VRI = 2.0) vascular reactivity. Results: Of the 95 patients, aged 45.2 ± 10.9 years, 11.6% had sarcopenia and 13.7% had poor vascular reactivity. Patients with sarcopenia were lower in body mass index (p = 0.001) and VRI (p = 0.041), and have a higher proportion of low muscle mass (p < 0.001), low HGS (p < 0.001), and slow GS (p = 0.001). Patients with poor vascular reactivity have a higher proportion of sarcopenia (p = 0.005), low HGS (p = 0.006), and slow GS (p = 0.029). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that patients in the poor VRI group were significantly associated with sarcopenia (odds ratio, OR = 6.17; 95% confidence interval [1.06-36.04]; p = 0.043), comparing to those with good VRI. We further analysed the effects of VRI on individual components of sarcopenia and found that VRI predicted slow GS significantly (OR = 0.41; 95% CI = [0.21-0.79]; p = 0.007), but not low SMI (OR = 1.15; 95% CI [0.53-2.49]; p = 0.718) and HGS (OR = 0.59; 95% CI [0.31-1.16]; p = 0.125). Conclusions: We concluded that endothelial dysfunction is a key determinant of sarcopenia in KT recipients. Furthermore, endothelial dysfunction is more closely related to gait speed than muscle mass and strength.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12521
Publication statusPublished - Nov 22 2021


  • Endothelial function
  • Gait speed
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Muscle mass
  • Muscle strength
  • Sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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