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Critical Care and Emergency Medicine - Gastroenterology and Hepatology - Infectious Diseases - Surgery

Downgrading MELD Improves the Outcomes after Liver Transplantation in Patients with Acute-on-Chronic Hepatitis B Liver Failure
Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Author: Qi Ling et al.

by Qi Ling, Xiao Xu, Qiang Wei, Xiaoli Liu, Haijun Guo, Li Zhuang, Jiajia Chen, Qi Xia, Haiyang Xie, Jian Wu, Shusen Zheng, Lanjuan Li


High score of model for end-stage liver diseases (MELD) before liver transplantation (LT) indicates poor prognosis. Artificial liver support system (ALSS) has been proved to effectively improve liver and kidney functions, and thus reduce the MELD score. We aim to evaluate whether downgrading MELD score could improve patient survival after LT.

Methodology/Principal Findings

One hundred and twenty-six LT candidates with acute-on-chronic hepatitis B liver failure and MELD score =30 were included in this prospective study. Of the 126 patients, 42 received emergency LT within 72 h (ELT group) and the other 84 were given ALSS as salvage treatment. Of the 84 patients, 33 were found to have reduced MELD score (<30) on the day of LT (DGM group), 51 underwent LT with persistent high MELD score (N-DGM group). The median waiting time for a donor was 10 for DGM group and 9.5 days for N-DGM group. In N-DGM group there is a significantly higher overall mortality (43.1%) than that in ELT group (16.7%) and DGM group (15.2%). N-DGM (vs. ECT and DGM) was the only independent risk factor of overall mortality (P?=?0.003). Age >40 years and the interval from last ALSS to LT >48 h were independent negative influence factors of downgrading MELD.


Downgrading MELD for liver transplant candidates with MELD score =30 was effective in improving patient prognosis. An appropriate ALSS treatment within 48 h prior to LT is potentially beneficial.