Liver transplant outcome: a comparison between high and low MELD score recipients
To compare low and high MELD scores and investigate whether existing renal dysfunction has an effect on transplant outcome.
Data was prospectively collected among 237 liver transplants (216 patients) between March 2003 and March 2009. Patients with cirrhotic disease submitted to transplantation were divided into three groups: MELD > 30, MELD < 30, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Renal failure was defined as a ± 25% decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate as observed 1 week after the transplant. Median MELD scores were 35, 21, and 13 for groups MELD > 30, MELD < 30, and hepatocellular carcinoma, respectively.
Recipients with MELD > 30 had more days in Intensive Care Unit, longer hospital stay, and received more blood product transfusions. Moreover, their renal function improved after liver transplant. All other groups presented with impairment of renal function. Mortality was similar in all groups, but renal function was the most important variable associated with morbidity and length of hospital stay.
High MELD score recipients had an improvement in the glomerular filtration rate after 1 week of liver transplantation.