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Original Article

Korean J Transplant 2019; 33(4): 112-117

Published online December 31, 2019


© The Korean Society for Transplantation

Deceased donor liver transplantation under the Korean model for end-stage liver disease score-based liver allocation system: 2-year allocation results at a high-volume transplantation center

Hea-Seon Ha1, Jung-Ja Hong1, In-Ok Kim1, Sae-Rom Lee1, Ah-Young Lee1, Tae-Yong Ha2, Gi-Won Song2, Dong-Hwan Jung2, Gil-Chun Park2, Chul-Soo Ahn2, Deok-Bog Moon2, Ki-Hun Kim2, Sung-Gyu Lee2, Shin Hwang1,2

1Organ Transplantation Center, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea;
2Department of Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Correspondence to: Shin Hwang
Department of Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul 05505, Korea
Tel: +82-2-3010-3930, Fax: +82-2-3010-6701 E-mail: shwang@amc.seoul.kr

Received: September 6, 2019; Revised: December 5, 2019; Accepted: December 6, 2019

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background: The Korean model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score-based liver allocation system was started in June 2016 in Korea.
Methods: This study analyzed the detailed allocation results of deceased donor liver transplantation (DDLT) during the first 2 years after the MELD score-based liver allocation system implementation at a high-volume liver transplantation (LT) center in Korea.
Results: This study included 174 patients with age above 12 years. The patient ABO blood groups were A (n=65, 37.4%), B (n=51, 29.3%), O (n=28, 16.1%), and AB (n=30, 17.2%). The LT types were primary LT in 141 patients (81.0%) and retransplantation in 33 (19.0%). The Korean Network for Organ Sharing status categories at LT were as follows: status 1 (n=11, 6.3%), status 2 (n=82, 47.1%), status 3 (n=63, 36.2%), and status 4 (n=18, 10.3%). The mean MELD score at LT and waiting period were 36.6±4.6 and 62.1±98.2 days in blood group A; 37.6±3.6 and 25.7±38.1 days in blood group B; 38.8±2.7 and 26.0±30.5 days in blood group O; and 34.8±5.5 and 68.4±110.5 days in blood group AB (P<0.001 and P=0.012), respectively. Patients with blood group O and AB had the highest and lowest mean MELD scores at LT allocation, respectively.
Conclusions: Serious deceased organ donor shortage resulted in very high MELD score cutoffs for DDLT allocation. Additionally, a significant inequality was observed in the possibility for DDLT according to blood group compatibility. Nationwide follow-up studies are necessary to precisely determine the allocation status of DDLT.

Keywords: Liver transplantation, Model for end-stage liver disease score, Waiting list, ABO blood group, Deceased donor