Patients With Acute on Chronic Liver Failure Grade 3 Have Greater 14-Day Waitlist Mortality Than Status-1a Patients Academic Article Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Bacteremia
  • Hepatitis C
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic


  • © 2019 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Patients listed for liver transplantation (LT) as status 1a currently receive the highest priority on the waiting list. The presence of acute on chronic liver failure (ACLF) with three or more organs failing (ACLF-3) portends low survival without transplantation, which may not be reflected by the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease-Sodium (MELD-Na) score. We compared short-term waitlist mortality for patients listed status 1a and those with ACLF-3 at listing. Data were analyzed from the United Network for Organ Sharing database, years 2002-2014, for 3,377 patients listed status 1a and 5,099 patients with ACLF-3. Candidates with ACLF were identified based on the European Association for the Study of the Liver Chronic Liver Failure Consortium criteria. MELD-Na score was treated as a categorical variable of scores <36, 36-40, and >40. We used competing risks regression to assess waitlist mortality risk. Evaluation of outcomes through 21 days after listing demonstrated a rising trend in mortality among ACLF-3 patients at 7 days (18.0%), 14 days (27.7%), and 21 days (32.7%) (P < 0.001) compared to a stable trend in mortality among individuals listed as status 1a at 7 days (17.9%), 14 days (19.3%), and 21 days (19.8%) (P = 0.709). Multivariable modeling with adjustment for MELD-Na category revealed that patients with ACLF-3 had significantly greater mortality (subhazard ratio, 1.45; 95% confidence interval, 1.31-1.61) within 14 days of listing compared to status-1a candidates. Analysis of the interaction between MELD-Na category and ACLF-3 showed that patients with ACLF-3 had greater risk of 14-day mortality than status-1a-listed patients, across all three MELD-Na categories. Conclusion: Patients with ACLF-3 at the time of listing have greater 14-day mortality than those listed as status 1a, independent of MELD-Na score; these findings illustrate the importance of early transplant evaluation and consideration of transplant priority for patients with ACLF-3.

publication date

  • January 2019



  • Academic Article


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/hep.30624

PubMed ID

  • 30908660

Additional Document Info