BACKGROUND: Ensuring a good match between donor and recipient is critically important to achieve acceptable graft outcomes after living-donor liver transplantation (LDLT). Our objective was to evaluate the product of donor age and Model for End-stage Liver Disease score (D-MELD) as a predictor of graft survival after LDLT. METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated the records of 355 adults who underwent LDLT for chronic liver disease and explored the relationship between D-MELD and graft outcome. RESULTS: High MELD score and advanced donor age were significantly associated with graft survival; D-MELD had the strongest association with in-hospital mortality. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that a D-MELD score of 462 had the highest sensitivity for predicting in-hospital mortality. Patients were allocated to three groups based on D-MELD (Class A [≤449; n=142], Class B [450-899; n=163], and Class C [≥900; n=50]) and were found to have stratified cumulative 2-year graft survivals of 94.1%, 85.3%, and 63.1%, respectively (P<0.01). Although D-MELD Class C patients had larger graft volume-to-standard liver volume ratio (P<0.01) and received right lobe grafts more often (P<0.01), they still exhibited significantly higher rates of primary graft dysfunction (P<0.01) and in-hospital mortality (P<0.01). Outcomes in D-MELD Class C were significantly worse in hepatitis C-positive patients (P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The D-MELD score is a simple and reliable predictor of early graft survival that assists the matching of donors and recipients in LDLT in adults.
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