Novel approaches to sarcopenic obesity and weight management before and after kidney transplantation.

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Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Although a widely recognized and complex pathophysiological condition, sarcopenic obesity remains less appreciated and may elude diagnosis and workup in both kidney transplant waitlisted candidates and kidney transplant recipients. The lack of consensus definition, and practical diagnostic tools for evaluating waitlisted candidates and transplant recipients are barriers to early detect and initiate therapeutic management for sarcopenic obesity. Although sarcopenia leads to poor clinical outcomes, posttransplant obesity yields conflicting results. Exercise and nutritional managements are common therapies for sarcopenic obese patients; however, surgery weight loss or bariatric surgery in both transplant candidates and potential living kidney donors shows promising benefits for kidney transplant access in waitlist obese candidates but may require to be selected for appropriate patients.

RECENT FINDINGS: Pathogenesis and management for sarcopenia and obesity are interconnected. The benefits of exercise to improve muscle mass and function is clear in waitlist kidney transplant candidates and transplant recipients. However, there are several barriers for those to increase exercise and improve physical activity including patient, provider, and healthcare or environmental factors. The advantages of fat mass reduction to lose weight can promote muscle mass and strength. However, epidemiological data regarding the obesity paradox in dialysis-dependent patients when overnutrition provides survival benefits for this population should be taken into account when performing weight loss especially bariatric surgery.

SUMMARY: Barriers in providing optimal care to kidney transplant waitlisted candidates and transplant recipients may partly result from underdiagnosis of sarcopenic obesity; notwithstanding that this entity has increasingly been more recognized. Mechanistic studies to better understand pathogenesis of sarcopenic obesity will help determine pathogenesis and clinical tools for diagnosis of this entity, which can facilitate further studies related to the outcomes and weight management to ultimately improve kidney transplant outcomes.





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