Early indicators of prognosis in fulminant hepatic failure: An assessment of the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) and King's College Hospital Criteria



While King's Hospital Criteria (KCH) criteria are used worldwide, the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) is a more recently developed scoring system that has been validated as an independent predictor of patient survival in conditions for liver transplantation (LT). The aim of the present study was to compare MELD and KCH criteria with other early clinical prognostic indicators (CPI) in a cohort of patients with fulminant hepatic failure (FHF). A total of 144 patients (mean age 31.7 ± 14.7 yr; range 12–82 yr; 62 males) with FHF due to acute viral hepatitis were included into the study. Variables found significant on univariate analysis were entered into a multivariate logistic regression analysis. A total of 52 (36.1%) patients survived, the remaining 92 (63.9%) died. Univariate analysis showed that age, duration of jaundice, jaundice-encephalopathy interval (JEI), grade of encephalopathy, presence of cerebral edema, bilirubin, prothrombin time, creatinine, and MELD score were significantly different between survivors and nonsurvivors. Multivariate logistic regression identified 6 independent CPI of adverse outcome on admission: age ≥50 yr, JEI >7 days, grade 3 or 4 encephalopathy, presence of cerebral edema, prothrombin time ≥35 seconds, and creatinine ≥1.5 mg/dL. Presence of any 3 of 6 CPI was optimum in identifying survivors and nonsurvivors. A MELD score of ≥33 was found to be best discriminant between survivors and nonsurvivors by the construction of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. Any 3 CPI were superior to MELD and KCH criteria in predicting the outcome (c-statistic [95% confidence interval]: CPI 0.802 [0.726–0.878], MELD 0.717 [0.636–0.789], and KCH criteria 0.676 (0.588–0.764); P values: CPI vs. MELD 0.045, CPI vs. KCH criteria 0.019, and MELD vs. KCH criteria 0.472). In conclusion, MELD and KCH criteria are not as useful as a combination of other early CPI in predicting adverse outcome in patients with FHF due to acute viral hepatitis. Liver Transpl, 2007. © 2007 AASLD.