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Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int. 2007 Oct;6(5):492-6.

The MELD scoring system for predicting prognosis in patients with severe hepatitis after plasma exchange treatment.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, Second Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150086, China.



Hepatic failure caused by severe hepatitis is a clinical syndrome where the major liver functions, particularly detoxification, synthetic functions, and metabolic regulation are impaired to different degrees, and may result in major life-threatening complications such as hepatic encephalopathy, ascites, jaundice, cholestasis, bleeding and hepatorenal syndrome. Plasma exchange (PE) has been found useful in treating patients with fulminant hepatic failure by removing hepatic toxins and replacement of clotting factors, so PE treatment has temporary supportive effects on liver failure caused by severe viral hepatitis. In this study, our aim was to predict the prognosis of patients with severe hepatitis after PE treatment using the end-stage liver disease (MELD) scoring system.


Two hundred and twenty patients were randomly divided into PE and control groups, and the MELD score was calculated for each patient according to the original formula. The efficacy of PE was assessed by mortality or improvement in biochemical parameters and MELD score.


The levels of total bilirubin and international normalised ratio (INR) in patients whose MELD scores were between 30 and 39 were lower than those before PE treatment, as those in patients whose MELD scores were 40 or higher. The mortality of patients in the PE group with MELD scores from 30 to 39 was 50.0%, while it was 83.3% in the control group (P<0.01). The mortality of patients with MELD scores higher than 40 was 90.0% in the PE group and 98.0% in the control group (P>0.05).


PE treatment can decrease the serum total bilirubin level and INR and MELD score of patients with severe hepatitis and improve liver function. Compared with the control group, PE can significantly decrease the mortality of patients with MELD scores from 30 to 39, but has no effect in patients with MELD scores of 40 or higher.

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