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The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD)

What is MELD?  How will it be used?

 The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) is a numerical scale, ranging from 6 (less ill) to 40 (gravely ill), that is used for adult liver transplant candidates.  It gives each individual a 'score' (number) based on how urgently he or she needs a liver transplant within the next three months.  The number is calculated by a formula using three routine lab test results:

  • Bilirubin, which measures how effectively the liver excretes bile;
  • INR (prothrombin time), which measures the liver's ability to make blood clotting factors; and
  • Creatinine, which measures kidney function.  (Impaired kidney function is often associated with severe liver disease)

It is very important that the transplant team has current information on you.  You must notify the team if there has been a change in your address, insurance carrier, phone number, or medical condition.  It is a good idea to keep the name and phone number of your transplant coordinator handy so that you can call with any new information.  If we do not have current information, the team may have trouble finding you when it is your turn to receive a transplant.  We only have one hour to find you if we are unable to locate you, the liver will go the next person on the list.


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