Impact of implementation of the MELD scoring system on the prevalence and incidence of chronic renal disease following liver transplantation


  • This study was conducted in compliance with the approval of our Institutional Review Board (IRB). The authors have no commercial or other association that would pose a conflict of interest in the writing of this manuscript.


The implementation of the model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score decreased mortality of those awaiting liver transplantation (LT); however, the impact of the MELD allocation system on the risk of chronic renal disease after LT remains unknown. We conducted a non-concurrent single-center cohort study of 174 patients undergoing LT at our center. We compared patients who underwent LT one year prior to MELD implementation (pre-MELD cohort) to those patients who underwent LT 1 year following MELD implementation (MELD cohort). All patients were followed for at least 2 years after LT. Stage 3 chronic renal disease (CRD-3) was defined by an estimated creatinine clearance (CLCr) below 60 ml/min/1.73 m2, and stage 4 chronic renal disease (CRD-4) was defined by an estimated CLCr below 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 according to the validated Modification of Diet and Renal Disease (MDRD) formula. Requirement of kidney transplantation and need for hemodialysis were also evaluated following LT. The pre-MELD cohort (n=97) and the MELD cohort (n=77) were comparable in baseline characteristics, prevalence of diabetes and hypertension, and immunosuppression. Mean calculated MELD score in the pre-MELD cohort was significantly lower than in the MELD cohort (16 vs. 19, P < 0.05). The estimated CLCr at time of LT was lower in the MELD cohort compared with the pre-MELD cohort (75 vs. 95, P < 0.01). However, the incidence and prevalence of CRD-3 and CRD-4 at 6, 12, and 24 months after LT were comparable between the two cohorts. Need for kidney transplantation or hemodialysis after LT was comparable between the groups. In multivariate analysis, serum creatinine at LT was the only variable associated with the development of CRD-3 in the first 2 years after LT. In conclusion, the implementation of the MELD allocation system is not associated with increased mortality or occurrence of CRD-3 or CRD-4 in the first 2 years after LT. Liver Transpl 12:754–761, 2006. © 2006 AASLD.