Association of body composition parameters measured on CT with risk of hospitalization in patients with Covid-19

Hersh Chandarana, Nisanard Pisuchpen, Rachel Krieger, Bari Dane, Artem Mikheev, Yang Feng, Avinash Kambadakone, Henry Rusinek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To assess prognostic value of body composition parameters measured at CT to predict risk of hospitalization in patients with COVID-19 infection. Methods: 177 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection and with abdominopelvic CT were included in this retrospective IRB approved two-institution study. Patients were stratified based on disease severity as outpatients (no hospital admission) and patients who were hospitalized (inpatients). Two readers blinded to the clinical outcome segmented axial CT images at the L3 vertebral body level for visceral adipose tissue (VAT), subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), muscle adipose tissue (MAT), muscle mass (MM). VAT to total adipose tissue ratio (VAT/TAT), MAT/MM ratio, and muscle index (MI) at L3 were computed. These measures, along with detailed clinical risk factors, were compared in patients stratified by severity. Various logistic regression clinical and clinical + imaging models were compared to discriminate inpatients from outpatients. Results: There were 76 outpatients (43%) and 101 inpatients. Male gender (p = 0.013), age (p = 0.0003), hypertension (p = 0.0003), diabetes (p = 0.0001), history of cardiac disease (p = 0.007), VAT/TAT (p < 0.0001), and MAT/MM (p < 0.0001), but not BMI, were associated with hospitalization. A clinical model (age, gender, BMI) had AUC of 0.70. Addition of VAT/TAT to the clinical model improved the AUC to 0.73. Optimal model that included gender, BMI, race (Black), MI, VAT/TAT, as well as interaction between gender and VAT/TAT and gender and MAT/MM demonstrated the highest AUC of 0.83. Conclusion: MAT/MM and VAT/TAT provides important prognostic information in predicting patients with COVID-19 who are likely to require hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110031
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • COVID-19
  • CT
  • Muscle Adipose Tissue (MAT)
  • Muscle Index (MI)
  • Muscle Mass (MM)
  • Visceral Adipose Tissue (VAT)
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Hospitalization
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Retrospective Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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