The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score is used to measure a patient’s risk of dying from chronic liver failure over a 90-day period from the day it was measured.
It is also used to determine the order and urgency of patients waiting for a liver transplant.
The MELD score is calculated on the basis of the serum bilirubin, creatinine concentrations and the international normalized ratio for the prothrombin time. It ranges from 6 (less ill) to 40 (gravely ill).
Addition of sodium (Na) to the original MELD score may enhance its accuracy.
The Mayo Clinic has provided a MELD score calculator.
Patients with MELD scores greater than 10 are evaluated for a liver transplant.
Most patients are not being called for a transplant until the MELD score has reached 15.
The largest increase in risk of death occurs between a MELD score of 20 to 30, where the 90 day risk of dying increases from 25% to 62%.
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