Prognostic value of enzymatic liver function for the estimation of short-term survival of liver transplant candidates: a prospective study with the LiMAx test

Transpl Int. 2015 Jan;28(1):52-8. doi: 10.1111/tri.12441. Epub 2014 Sep 29.


LiMAx has been recently proposed as a new quantitative liver function test. Thus, we aimed to evaluate the diagnostic ability of LiMAx to assess short-term survival in liver transplant candidates and compare its performance to the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) and indocyanine green plasma disappearance rate (ICG-PDR). Liver function of 167 chronic liver failure patients without hepatocellular carcinoma was prospectively investigated when they were evaluated for liver transplantation. Primary study endpoints were liver-related death within 6 months of follow-up. Within 6 months of follow-up, 18 patients died and 36 underwent liver transplantation. Median LiMAx results on evaluation day were significantly lower in patients who died (99 μg/kg/h vs. 55 μg/kg/h; P = 0.024), while median ICG-PDR results did not differ within both groups (4.4%/min vs. 3.5%/min; P = 0.159). LiMAx showed a higher negative predictive value (NPV: 0.93) as compared with ICG-PDR (NPV: 0.90) and the MELD (NPV: 0.91) in predicting risk of death within 6 months. In conclusion, LiMAx provides good prognostic information of liver transplant candidates. In particular, patients who are not at risk of death can be identified reliably by measuring actual enzymatic liver function capacity.

Keywords: chronic liver disease; liver function; liver function test; methacetin; prognosis; survival; transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetamides / chemistry
  • End Stage Liver Disease / diagnosis
  • End Stage Liver Disease / mortality
  • End Stage Liver Disease / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Indocyanine Green / chemistry
  • International Normalized Ratio
  • Liver / physiology*
  • Liver Function Tests*
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Acetamides
  • methacetin
  • Indocyanine Green