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Transpl Int. 2011 Mar;24(3):292-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-2277.2010.01200.x. Epub 2010 Dec 10.

Clinical epidemiological analysis of the mortality rate of liver transplant candidates living in rural areas.

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  • 1Multi-Organ Transplant Program, Department of Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


MELD score has been used to predict 90-day mortality of subjects listed for liver transplantation (OLT). Validation of MELD score for patients on the waiting list in transplant programmes serving rural areas in North America is lacking. A retrospective cohort of patients affected by end-stage liver disease was studied to assess the mortality rate within 90 days after being listed at our transplant centre. Secondary aims were to identify differences between predicted and observed 90-days mortality using MELD and MELDNa scores at the time of listing. Among 126 patients included in this study, waiting list mortality was 35.0%. Ninety-day mortality was 21.1%, which was significantly greater than the mortality estimated by the MELD (9.1%, 95% CI: 6.6-11.5) and MELDNa (9.3%, 95%CI: 6.0-12.5). Despite this underestimation, AUC for MELD and MELDNa was 0.80 and 0.78 respectively. In our study, independent predictors of waiting list mortality were age, diagnosis of cholestatic disease and residence over 500 km from our transplant centre. MELD and MELDNa underestimated the 90-day mortality in patients with liver failure living in rural areas. Validation of these models should be performed in other transplant centres serving patients with limited access to specialized services.

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