Different Methods of Creatinine Measurement Significantly Affect MELD Scores

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Bilirubin (Bil) interferes with creatinine (Cr) measurement. Different laboratory methods are used to overcome this problem. Model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) scoring incorporates Cr and is used to prioritize patients for liver transplantation. Thus, MELD scores may vary with different Cr measurements influencing patients' priority. Our aim was to evaluate 4 different Cr assays (O'Leary modified Jaffe [mJCr], compensated [rate blanked] kinetic Jaffe [cJCr], enzymatic [ECr], and standard kinetic Jaffe [JCr]) in patients with abnormal liver function tests and assess changes in MELD score. A total of 403 consecutive samples from 158 patients' Cr assays were evaluated. Bland-Altman plots and MELD scores were also evaluated for each assay. Agreement was found to be poor among all Cr assays. Increased variability in Cr occurred with increasing Bil concentrations: Bil <100 μmol/L ≤3-point MELD variation - 3-point difference in 2%; Bil ≥400μmol/L ≤7-point MELD variation - ≥3-point difference in 78%. When MELD was ≥25 (mJCr as reference; mean, 30.5 points), MELD variation was greatest: mean, 28 (MELD cJCr), 27.5 (MELD ECr), and 28.4 (MELD JCr) (P < 0.001). In conclusion, there is poor agreement among different assays for Cr. As Bil concentration rises, there is greater variability in each creatinine measurements and thus greater variability in MELD scores that, this affect prioritization for liver transplantation. Liver Transpl, 2006. © 2006 AASLD.

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