Impact of MELD on waitlist outcome of retransplant candidates

H. J. Kim, J. J. Larson, Y. S. Lim, W. R. Kim, R. A. Pedersen, T. M. Therneau, C. B. Rosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Under the current allocation system for liver transplantation (LTx), primary and retransplantation (ReTx) are treated identically. The aims of this study were (1) to compare the risk of death between ReTx and primary LTx candidates at a given MELD score and (2) to gauge the impact of the MELD-based allocation system on the waitlist outcome of ReTx candidates. Based on data of all waitlist registrants in the United States between 2000 and 2006, unique adult patients with chronic liver disease were identified and followed forward to determine mortality within six months of registration. There were a total of 45,943 patients waitlisted for primary LTx and 2081 registered for ReTx. In the MELD era (n = 30,175), MELD was significantly higher among ReTx candidates than primary LTx candidates (median, 21 vs. 15). Within a range of MELD scores where most transplantation took place, mortality was comparable between ReTx and primary candidates after adjusting for MELD. The probability for LTx increased significantly following implementation of the MELD-based allocation in both types of candidates. We conclude that by and large, primary and ReTx candidates fare equitably under the current MELD-based allocation system, which has contributed to a significant increase in the probability of LTx.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2652-2657
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Death
  • MELD score
  • retransplantation
  • waiting list

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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