A new study on the determination of how livers are allocated for transplants examined the relationship between liver disease severity and quality of life, and found that the commonly used model for liver allocation is not a reliable indicator of general quality of life.
The results of this study appear in the February 2005 issue of Liver Transplantation, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS). The journal is published on behalf of the societies by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Liver allocation is currently based on a patients score on the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD), which uses results of three laboratory tests to predict short-term prognoses of liver disease. Because the MELD score is based on clinical findings, it is believed to be an accurate measure of liver disease severity. However, complications such as hepatic encephalopathy (which involves brain damage, personality changes, and intellectual impairment) and ascites (an accumulation of excess fluid in the abdomen), are not accounted for in the MELD score. MELD is now used in place of the Child-Turcotte-Pugh (CTP) model, which does take into account these complications and therefore is thought to be associated with quality of life.
David Greenberg | EurekAlert!
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