The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease, also known as MELD, is a system that has been used since 2002 to prioritize patients on liver transplant waiting lists, according to California Pacific Medical Center. Patients with higher MELD scores have more severe liver disease and are prioritized on the waiting list.
MELD scores are calculated based on patients' laboratory values for bilirubin, prothrombin time and creatinine, which are indications of liver function and disease progression, explains California Pacific Medical Center. There are some special exceptions regarding MELD scores. Patients diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatopulmonary syndrome, familial amyloidosis or primary oxaluria are automatically given higher MELD scores and higher priority on the waiting list.