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Abstract

A national conference was held to review and assess data gathered since implementation of MELD and PELD and determine future directions. The objectives of the conference were to review the current system of liver allocation with a critical analysis of its strengths and weaknesses. Conference participants used an evidence-based approach to consider whether predicted outcome after transplantation should influence allocation, to discuss the concept of minimal listing score, to revisit current and potential expansion of exception criteria, and to determine whether specific scores should be used for automatic removal of patients on the waiting list. After review of data from the first 18 months since implementation, association and society leaders, and surgeons and hepatologists with wide regional representation were invited to participate in small group discussions focusing on each of the main objectives. At the completion of the meeting, there was agreement that MELD has had a successful initial implementation, meeting the goal of providing a system of allocation that emphasizes the urgency of the candidate while diminishing the reliance on waiting time, and that it has proven to be a powerful tool for auditing the liver allocation system. It was also agreed that the data regarding the accuracy of PELD as a predictor of pretransplant mortality were less conclusive and that PELD should be considered in isolation. Recommendations for the transplant community, based on the analysis of the MELD data, were discussed and are presented in the summary document. (Liver Transpl 2004;10:A6–A22.)