Objective: To examine the results of split liver transplantation for 2 adults in the model of end-stage liver disease (MELD) era.
Background: In the MELD era, liver allografts are first allocated to recipients with the highest MELD scores. However, the application of split liver transplantation for 2 adults in urgent condition has doubled and has become a matter of concern.
Methods: Twenty-one deceased liver grafts were split into full right and full left lobes for 42 adult recipients. One of the hemiliver grafts was allocated to the recipient with the highest MELD score in the waiting list. The results of split liver transplantation were examined and compared with those of living donor liver transplantation.
Results: Among 42 recipients, 24 (57.1%) had MELD scores higher than 20. The median (interquartile) MELD score for the recipients with split liver transplantation was 22 (15-30), which was higher than that for the recipients with living donor liver transplantation (P < 0.001). The 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates for split liver transplantation were comparable with those of living donor transplantation (P = 0.489). Nevertheless, 10 of 42 split liver recipients died within 3 months after transplantation. By receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, the safe graft-recipient weight ratio was better more than 1% to avoid early patient death for split liver transplantation.
Conclusions: Although most of the recipients with split liver transplantation had high MELD scores, the results were comparable with those of living donor liver transplantation. Split liver transplantation for 2 adults is still feasible in the MELD era.