Objectives This study evaluated the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score and its modified versions, which are established measures of liver dysfunction, as a tool to assess heart transplantation (HTx) urgency in ambulatory patients with heart failure. Background Liver abnormalities have a prognostic impact on the outcome of patients with advanced heart failure. Methods We retrospectively evaluated 343 patients undergoing HTx evaluation between 2005 and 2009. The prognostic effectiveness of MELD and 2 modifications (MELDNa [includes serum sodium levels] and MELD-XI [does not include international normalized ratio]) for endpoint events, defined as death/HTx/ventricular assist device requirement, was evaluated in our cohort and in subgroups of patients on and off oral anticoagulation. Results The MELD and MELDNa scores were excellent predictors for 1-year endpoint events (areas under the curve: 0.71 and 0.73, respectively). High scores (>12) were strongly associated with poor survival at 1 year (MELD 69.3% vs. 90.4% [p < 0.0001]; MELDNa 70.4% vs. 96.9% [p < 0.0001]). Increased scores were associated with increased risk for HTx (hazard ratio: 1.10 [95% confidence interval: 1.06 to 1.14]; p < 0.0001 for both scores), which was independent of other known risk factors (MELD p = 0.0055; MELDNa p = 0.0083). Anticoagulant use was associated with poor survival at 1 year (73.7% vs. 86.4%; p = 0.0118), and the statistical significance of MELD/MELDNa was higher in patients not receiving oral anticoagulation therapy. MELD-XI was a fair but limited predictor of the endpoint events in patients receiving oral anticoagulation therapy. Conclusions Assessment of liver dysfunction according to the MELD scoring system provides additional risk information in ambulatory patients with heart failure.
- heart failure
- liver dysfunction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine