Expanded criteria donor grafts for deceased donor liver transplantation under the MELD system: a decision analysis.


Expanded criteria donor (ECD) liver grafts have a higher likelihood of primary graft failure (PGF) compared with standard criteria donor (SCD) grafts. Given a choice between an available ECD graft versus waiting for an SCD graft that may not always become available, what should liver transplant candidates do? The study's aim was to estimate 1-year survival comparing immediate ECD liver grafting with waiting for an SCD organ. Using UNOS data, published literature estimates, and expert opinion, we constructed a Markov decision analytic model to estimate survival while waiting for an SCD transplant and survival with immediate ECD transplant. Sensitivity analyses were performed by varying model parameters individually and simultaneously with a second-order Monte Carlo simulation. For all patients with MELD scores >20, survival was higher with immediate ECD transplant despite the additional increased risk for PGF. Survival was better with an immediate ECD transplant unless the probability of PGF exceeded 23%, 72%, and 88% for recipients with MELD scores of 11-20, 21-25, and 26-30 respectively. For patients with MELD scores >30, the survival benefit with the immediate ECD strategy persisted at even higher rates of PGF. In conclusion, our results suggest that, despite the higher risk for PGF, transplantation with an available ECD graft should be preferred over waiting for an SCD organ for patients with advanced MELD scores. At less advanced MELD scores, the survival benefit depends on the risk of PGF associated with the ECD organ.


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@article{Amin2004ExpandedCD, title={Expanded criteria donor grafts for deceased donor liver transplantation under the MELD system: a decision analysis.}, author={Manish G Amin and Michael P Wolf and John A Tenbrook and Richard B. Freeman and Steve J Cheng and Daniel S. Pratt and John B. Wong}, journal={Liver transplantation : official publication of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the International Liver Transplantation Society}, year={2004}, volume={10 12}, pages={1468-75} }