Some patients are in desperate need of a liver transplant, so why do many livers go unused by centers across the nation?
Patients on the liver transplant wait list are ranked according to their Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, an objective measure used to predict the risk of death on the wait list and used to prioritize patients and allocate organs. Even with the MELD system in place, there remains geographic differences in the number of patients who die waiting for a transplant, thought to be associated with variations in organ supply by region.
A team led by David Goldberg, MD, MSCE, an assistant professor of Medicine at Penn, set out to examine if there could be more impacting these disparities than geography alone. They analyzed 23,000 unique organ offers to 13,255 unique patients across the nation's 11 Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) regions between May 2007 and June 2013 to examine the role that the transplant center itself may play in these inequities. The new findings are published in the Journal of Hepatology. Continue reading