The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease, or MELD score, is used to prioritize adult patients for liver transplants. It’s a severity index that indicates mortality risk and case urgency. It determines how soon a person will need a liver transplant.
You must have a MELD score to be put on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) transplant list
The MELD score is calculated with a mathematical formula using three lab results:
- total bilirubin
- International Normalized Ratio (INR)
The 4 MELD levels are
- greater than or equal to 25 (gravely ill)
- 24 to 19
- 18 to 11
- less than or equal to 10 (less ill)
Patients with end-stage liver disease are tested on a continuing basis:
- greater than or equal to 25: lab reports every 7 days
- 24 to 19: lab reports every 30 days
- 18 to 11: lab reports every 90 days
- 10 or fewer (less ill): lab reports every year
As the MELD score increases, the patient moves up the transplant list.