Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 2016, Article ID 1329532, 7 pages
Research Article

Validation of the Model of End-Stage Liver Disease for Liver Transplant Allocation in Alberta: Implications for Future Directions in Canada

1Liver Unit, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 4Z6
2Alberta Liver Transplant Program, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
3Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada

Received 10 February 2015; Accepted 27 April 2015

Copyright © 2016 Kelly W. Burak et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Since 2002, the Model of End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) has been used for allocation of liver transplants (LT) in the USA. In Canada, livers were allocated by the CanWAIT algorithm. The aim of this study was to compare the abilities of MELD, Child-Pugh (CP), and CanWAIT status to predict 3-month and 1-year mortality before LT in Canadian patients and to describe the use of MELD in Canada. Methods. Validation of MELD was performed in 320 patients listed for LT in Alberta (1998–2002). In October 2014, a survey of MELD use by Canadian LT centers was conducted. Results. Within 1 year of listing, 47 patients were removed from the waiting list (29 deaths, 18 too ill for LT). Using logistic regression, the MELD and CP were better than the CanWAIT at predicting 3-month (AUROC: 0.79, 0.78, and 0.59; ) and 1-year waitlist mortality (AUROC: 0.70, 0.70, and 0.55; ). Beginning in 2004, MELD began to be adopted by Canadian LT programs but its use was not standardized. Conclusions. Compared with the CanWAIT system, the MELD score was significantly better at predicting LT waitlist mortality. MELD-sodium (MELD-Na) has now been adopted for LT allocation in Canada.