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Oxford University Press, JNCI Cancer Spectrum, 6(6), 2022

DOI: 10.1093/jncics/pkac068



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Intraindividual Reliability of Opportunistic Computed Tomography–Assessed Adiposity and Skeletal Muscle Among Breast Cancer Patients

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


Abstract Background Adiposity and skeletal muscle levels assessed on computed tomography (CT) scans are prognostic indicators for patients with breast cancer. However, the intraindividual reliability of temporal changes in body composition assessed on opportunistic CT scans is unclear. Methods This retrospective study included 50 patients newly diagnosed with breast cancer who had archived CT scans pre- and postsurgery for breast cancer. The third lumbar CT image was segmented for areas of 3 types of adipose tissues and 5 different densities of skeletal muscles. Mean and percent changes in areas pre- vs postsurgery were compared using Wilcoxon signed rank tests. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) with 95% confidence intervals were assessed. A 2-sided P less than .05 was considered statistically significant. Results Mean (SD) age at diagnosis was 58.3 (12.5) years, and the interval between CT scans was 590.6 (536.8) days. Areas for body composition components were unchanged except for intermuscular adipose tissue (mean change = 1.45 cm2, 6.74% increase, P = .008) and very high-density muscle (mean change = −0.37 cm2, 11.08% decrease, P = .01) during the interval. There was strong intraindividual reliability in adipose tissue and skeletal muscle areas on pre- vs postsurgery scans overall (ICC = 0.763-0.998) and for scans collected 3 or less years apart (ICC = 0.802-0.999; 42 patients). Conclusions Although some body composition components may change after breast cancer surgery, CT scan assessments of body composition were reliable for a 3-year interval including the surgery. These findings inform measurement characteristics of body composition on opportunistic CT scans of patients undergoing surgery for breast cancer.