Background: The product between donor (D) age and recipient (R) Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score at the moment of liver transplantation (LT) has been proposed as a potential D-R matching tool to reduce the risk of "futile" LT from using the MELD score as the main allocation tool. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic ability of D-MELD among a cohort of Italian patients already selected for LT on the basis of a D-R matching philosophy.
Methods: We studied 303 consecutive adult patients undergoing first LT for chronic liver diseases with available D-MELD at the moment of LT from 2003 to 2009. Optimal donors were assigned to more severe cirrhotic patients (MELD ≥20); suboptimal organs were allocated to patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) not responsive to bridging therapies (specific priority score) or other exceptions with MELD <20. A suboptimal donor had age >70 years, severe steatosis by ultrasound, and/or body mass index >30 kg/m(2), partial liver, or hepatitis C (HCV) or B virus positivity.
Results: Characteristics of the study group were a median age of 55 years (range, 27-68 years), HCV positivity in 164 patients (54%), HCC in 134 patients (44%), partial liver use in 25 (8%), MELD 15 (range, 6-40), D-age of 56 years (range, 18-87 years), and median D-MELD score 826 (range, 126-2,988). Overall graft survival was 84%, 79%, and 77% at 1, 3, and 5 years after LT, respectively. Logistic regression did not show a significant correlation between graft failure and D-MELD score in the absence of a significant D-MELD cutoff. Cox regression with D-MELD as the continuous variable showed a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.99 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.99-1.00; P=NS); and with D-MELD as a dichotomic variable (≥0 to <1,600) an HR of 0.98 (95% CI, 0.63-1.77; P=NS).
Conclusion: The prognostic ability of D-MELD fails in OLT centers that use a more complex D-R matching policy.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.