Liver Transplant Wait List

Candidates for liver transplant are ranked on the wait list by their model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score. The MELD score is calculated from four lab tests and ranges from six (healthy liver) to 40 (critically ill) and helps determine which liver transplant candidates are at the highest need for a new liver. The four lab tests used are:

  • Bilirubin (measurement of liver function)
  • Creatinine (measurement of kidney function)
  • Sodium (assesses body’s ability to manage fluids and electrolytes)
  • International Normalised Ratio - INR (test that checks how long it takes blood to clot)

Once you are placed on the liver transplant wait list, you will need to update certains labs/test every six months to ensure that you are still an appropriate candidate for transplantation. Those appointments must be completed at UofL Health - Jewish Hospital.

It is extremely important the transplant center is able to contact you at any time, day or night, while you are on the wait list. When a suitable liver becomes available for you, the transplant coordinator will call you and discuss the potential transplant. They will ask you about your current health status and if there have been any changes in your insurance, and you will be given instructions on where and when you should come to UofL Health - Jewish Hospital.