Short-term postliver transplant survival after the introduction of MELD scores for organ allocation in the United States

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BackgroundIt has been suggested that the introduction of model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) for organ allocation may reduce overall graft and patient survival since elevated serum creatinine is an important predictor of poor outcome after liver transplantation.ObjectiveIn this study, we determined the outcomes of liver transplantation before (PreMELD group, 1998–February, 2002) and after (MELD group, March–December, 2002, n = 4642) the introduction of MELD score, and examined the impact of MELD scores on the outcome in the United States (US).Patients & methodsAfter excluding patients for a variety of reasons (children, live-donor, fulminant liver failure, patients with hepatoma and others who received extra MELD points, multiple organ transplantation, re-transplantation, incomplete data), there were 3227 patients in the MELD group. These patients were compared with 14 593 patients in the preMELD group after applying similar exclusion criteria. The survival was compared using Kaplan–Meier survival analysis and Cox regression survival analysis.ResultsThere was no difference in short-term (up to 10 months) graft and patient survival between MELD and preMELD groups. However, graft and patient survival was lower in patients with MELD score ≥30 when compared with those with MELD score < 30 after adjusting for the confounding variables.ConclusionIntroduction of MELD score for organ prioritization has not reduced the short-term survival of patients, but patients with MELD score of 30 or higher had a relatively poor outcome.

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