Live donor liver transplantation in high MELD score recipients.Ann Surg. 2010 Jan; 251(1):153-7.AnnS
In 2002, the New York State Committee on Quality Improvement in Living Liver Donation prohibited live liver donation for potential recipients with Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) scores greater than 25. Despite the paucity of evidence to support this recommendation, many centers in North America remain reluctant to offer living donor (LD) to patients with moderate to high MELD scores.
We analyzed 271 consecutive adult-to-adult right lobe LD liver transplants performed at our institution between 2002 and 2008 to study the relationship, between recipient MELD scores and the outcome of LD liver transplantation. The recipients were categorized according to their MELD score into a low (Low: <25)and high (Hi: >or=25) MELD group. We compared short-term donor morbidity, graft loss within 30 days, length of hospital stay, biochemical markers of hepatocyte injury and graft function, and 90 day posttransplant complications including infection, rejection, bleeding, and renal failure. Long-term posttransplant outcome was measured by graft and patient survival after 1-, 3-, and 5-years.
Donor and recipient characteristics were similar between groups. Donor outcomes were similar in both groups. Peak recipient aspartat aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and length of hospital stay were similar between both groups. The proportional decrease in postoperative INR and creatinine within the first week was greater in the high versus low MELD score group. High MELD score recipients had more frequent postoperative pneumonia (Low: 2.2% vs. Hi: 14%, P = 0.003), while no differences were observed in rates of biliary complications, rejection, renal failure, or overall infections. Recipients with a MELD <25 versus >or=25 had a similar 1-year (Low: 92% vs. Hi: 83%), 3-year (Low: 86% vs. Hi: 80%), and 5-year (Low: 78% vs. Hi: 80%) graft survival after LD liver transplantation (P = 0.51).
LD liver transplantation can provide excellent graft function and survival rates in high MELD score recipients. Thus, when deceased donor organs are scare, a high MELD score alone should not be an absolute contraindication to living liver donation.