Patients’ Age Rather Than Model of End-Stage Liver Disease Score Predicts Survival After Liver Transplantation

Yaara Leibovici-Weissman*, Eytan Mor, Moshe Leshno, Amir Shlomai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The model of end-stage liver disease (MELD) score is the standard tool for prioritizing patients awaiting liver transplantation. There is currently no definite high cutoff score reflecting disease severity that might exclude patients from transplantation. Furthermore, the age limit that used to disqualify patients from eligibility to transplantation was recently withdrawn in several countries. Aims: The aims of this study were to assess the effects of MELD score and age at time of transplantation on patients’ short- and long-term survival. Methods: We conducted a retrospective single-center study on a cohort of patients transplanted for the first time due to non-fulminant liver failure. Results: Four hundred and seventeen patients (mean age 50.2 years, 63% males) who underwent liver transplantation for the first time were included. Both higher patients’ and donors’ age were significantly associated with increased long-term mortality (p = 0.007, 95% CI 1.006–1.038 for patient age, p = 0.02, 95% CI 1.002–1.023 for donor age). Patients’ age remained significantly associated with survival at 1 year post-transplantation, as well. We found no association between higher MELD score at transplantation and long-term mortality (p = 0.189, 95% CI 0.99–1.051) irrespective of patients’ age. Specifically, when patients were divided according to their MELD score at transplantation (MELD < 15, MELD 15–25 and MELD > 25), no significant differences in long-term survival were detected between these three subgroups. Results did not differ significantly in a subgroup analysis of patients without hepatocellular carcinoma at the time of transplantation. Conclusions: Patients’ and donors’ age rather than patients’ MELD score at transplantation determine survival following liver transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-807
Number of pages7
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Age factor
  • Graft survival
  • Hepatic transplantation
  • MELD score
  • Patient survival


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