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BACKGROUND:Risk assessment is relevant to predict postoperative outcomes in patients with gastro-oesophageal cancer. This cohort study aimed to assess body composition changes during neoadjuvant chemotherapy and investigate their association with postoperative complications. METHODS:Consecutive patients with gastro-oesophageal cancer undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgery with curative intent between 2016 and 2019 were identified from a specific database and included in the study. CT images before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy were used to assess the skeletal muscle index, sarcopenia, and subcutaneous and visceral fat index. RESULTS:In a cohort of 199 patients, the mean skeletal muscle index decreased during neoadjuvant therapy (from 51·187 to 49·19 cm2 /m2 ; P < 0·001) and the rate of sarcopenia increased (from 42·2 to 54·3 per cent; P < 0·001). A skeletal muscle index decrease greater than 5 per cent was not associated with an increased risk of total postoperative complications (odds ratio 0·91, 95 per cent c.i. 0·52 to 1·59; P = 0·736) or severe complications (odds ratio 0·66, 0·29 to 1·53; P = 0·329). CONCLUSION:Skeletal muscle index decreased during neoadjuvant therapy but was not associated with postoperative complications.

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Departments of Surgery, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.