Patients listed for liver-intestine transplantation suffer higher waiting list mortality than those listed for liver-only, thus leading to policy revisions seeking to close the gap. We sought to determine the impact of key model for end-stage liver disease (MELD)/pediatric end-stage liver disease (PELD) policy modifications on the waiting list mortality of adult and pediatric liver-intestine candidates as compared to liver-only candidates. Analysis of UNOS data separated into adult and pediatric categories and based on time periods of policy implementation revealed higher mortality in liver-intestine candidates over all time periods studied (p < 0.001 pediatric and adult). After implementation of a revision to augment their MELD scores based on a sliding scale, adult liver-intestine candidates with calculated MELD > 15 no longer suffered higher mortality although this change did not completely eliminate the mortality disparity for candidates with MELD < 15 (p < 0.01). The waiting list mortality of pediatric liver-intestine candidates dropped significantly after a revision that gave them 23 additional MELD/PELD points (p < 0.01) although the mortality disparity with pediatric liver-only candidates was not eliminated. Following this revision, mortality in pediatric liver-only and liver-intestine Status 1 candidates was similar, however more liver-intestine candidates were listed as Status 1B. This data demonstrates that a mortality disparity remains for liver-intestine candidates compared with candidates listed for liver-only. Through analysis of OPTN data separated into time periods based on MELD/PELD policy revisions, this study demonstrates a disparity in the waiting list mortality of liver-only and liver-intestine transplantation candidates despite the implementation of policies designed to equalize this gap.
- UNOS policy
- waiting list