SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

The Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease (PELD) scoring system is a new nationally utilized formula developed to provide a continuous numerical assessment of the risk of death in order to allocate livers to children for transplantation. A retrospective review of the clinical course of children undergoing liver transplantation at the Mount Sinai Medical Center was performed in order to assess the effectiveness of this scoring system in the first 24 months of its utilization. Forty-eight patients underwent liver transplantation with overall patient and graft survival rates of 98% and 96%, respectively. In 23 cases the PELD scoring system determined waiting time for transplantation. Of these 23 patients, 7 moved to the intensive care unit (ICU). Only 2 of 23 patients underwent transplantation with their actual PELD score. The rest required petition for exception (17) or status 1 listing (4). Significant morbidity occurred while awaiting transplantation: failure to thrive (78%), ascites (73%), hemorrhage (49%), infectious complications (39%), encephalopathy (30%), peritonitis (17%), pathologic bone fractures (13%), and hepatopulmonary syndrome (9%). In patients with PELD scores granted by exception the average score that did not yield a liver offer was 38 with an average waiting time of 55 days. At the time of transplantation actual PELD score averaged 22, while the petitioned score was 40. Based upon our center's initial experience, the current PELD scoring system is not adequate. Actual PELD scores did not lead to timely allocation of livers to children. It appears that this scoring system underestimates the near-term risk of death. Urgent reassessment is required to prevent potential morbidity and mortality in children. In conclusion the United Network for Organ Sharing policy that permits granting of exceptions has circumvented these problems with the PELD scoring system. (Liver Transpl 2005;11:788–795.)