How Do You Interpret a Liver Disease MELD Score?


Quick Answer

The model for end-stage liver disease system gives scores of 40 or more, 30 to 39, 20 to 29 and 10 to 19 mortality rates of 71.3, 52.6, 19.6 and 6.0 percent respectively, states Wiesner et al. for Gastroenterology. This score covers three months.

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Full Answer

The model for end-stage liver disease, or MELD, score measures the mortality risk of hospitalized patients suffering from an advanced stage of liver disease, explains Mayo Clinic. Since the model's scores are reliable, doctors use its measure of severity of a disease to determine the priority of organs for liver transplants.

Doctors determine the MELD score only for adult candidates of liver transplants, notes the California Pacific Medical Center. The score has a numerical value and the higher the score, the higher the risk of mortality to the patient. For instance, a patient with a MELD score of 40 or above is gravely ill and urgently needs a liver transplant within the next three months or he will die.

However, there are special cases where a condition has an automatic high MELD score that supersedes any MELD scores from laboratory test results, and such cases get high priority for the liver transplants, according to the California Pacific Medical Center. Such cases include hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatopulmonary syndrome, familial amyloidosis and primary oxaluria.

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