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Kidney function and mortality post-liver transplant in the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease era

Authors Sethi A, Estrella MM, Ugarte R, Atta M

Published 3 November 2011 Volume 2011:4 Pages 139—144

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJNRD.S24812

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Aastha Sethi1, Michelle M Estrella1, Richard Ugarte2, Mohamed G Atta1
1Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA; 2University of Maryland Medical Center, Department of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Abstract: The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score incorporates serum creatinine and was introduced to facilitate allocation of orthotopic liver transplantation (LT). The objective is to determine the impact of MELD and kidney function on all-cause mortality. Among LTs performed in a tertiary referral hospital between 1995 and 2009, 419 cases were studied. Cox proportional hazards models were constructed to estimate the hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for death. Over mean follow-ups of 8.4 and 3.1 years during the pre-MELD and MELD era, 57 and 63 deaths were observed, respectively. Those transplanted during the MELD era had a higher likelihood of hepatorenal syndrome (8% vs 2%, P < 0.01), lower kidney function (median estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] 77.8 vs 92.6 mL/min/1.73 m2, P < 0.01), and more pretransplantation renal replacement therapy (RRT) (5% vs 1%; P < 0.01). All-cause mortality risk was similar in the MELD vs the pre-MELD era (HR: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.58–1.65). The risk of death, however, was nearly 3-fold greater (95% CI: 1.14–6.60) among those requiring pre-transplant RRT. Similarly, eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 post-transplant was associated with a 2.5-fold higher mortality (95% CI: 1.48–4.11). The study suggests that MELD implementation had no impact on all-cause mortality post-LT. However, the need for pre-transplant RRT and post-transplant kidney dysfunction was associated with a more than 2-fold greater risk of subsequent death.

Keywords: eGFR, mortality, MELD, liver transplant

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