Recovery of Muscular Performance After Surgical Stress in Elderly Patients.

Ivan Bautmans, Nele Van De Winkel, A Vignali, A Ackerman, Liza De Dobbeleer, Elisabeth De Waele, Ingo Beyer, Tony Mets, M Maggio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)



Inflammation is related to muscle wasting in elderly persons. Since surgery is accompanied by an important inflammatory response, the degree of muscle wasting and related symptoms such as weakness and tiredness might exacerbate very rapidly in elderly surgery patients.


PubMed and Web of Science were systematically screened for articles reporting the influence of surgery-induced inflammation on muscle performance and/or fatigue in elderly patients. Studies reporting surgery-induced inflammation and changes in muscle performance and/or fatigue, but without analyzing their association were excluded. Although 5 relevant articles were identified including older patients (highest ages reported were 71-92 years), none focused exclusively on elderly patients. Only 2 studies assessed muscle performance, and in none muscle mass was evaluated. Overall, we found evidence that in elderly patients higher surgery-induced inflammation was significantly related to worse muscle performance and fatigue in the first postoperative days as well as after more than one month (especially for fatigue) following the intervention. Pre-operative anti-inflammatory treatment using steroids or glucocorticoids can reduce the surgery-induced inflammatory response and improve the recovery of muscle performance and postoperative fatigue in elderly elective abdominal surgery or arthroplasty patients.


We can conclude that to date, only few studies have investigated the association between surgery-induced inflammation and changes in postoperative muscle performance and fatigue in elderly patients More research is warranted focusing on both the short -and long-term effects of surgical stress on muscle performance in elderly patients as well as the on risks and benefits of peri-operative anti-inflammatory treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3215-3221
Number of pages7
JournalCurr Pharm Des
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • inflammation
  • fatigue
  • sarcopenia
  • elderly
  • muscle weakness
  • surgery
  • acute phase
  • muscular atrophy

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