Background: In 2005, the model of end-stage liver disease (MELD)-based allocation system was adopted to assess potential liver transplant (LT) recipients in Argentina. The aim of the present study was to revise the activity of the MELD Exception Experts Committee. Methods: Between 2005 and 2009, 1623 patients were listed for LT. Regulation provides extra-MELD points for amyloidosis, hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS) and T2 hepatocellular carcinoma (T2 HCC). Centres could also request priority for other situations. Using a prospective database, we identified patients in whom priority points were requested. Pathology reports of explanted livers were analysed for patients with T2 HCC. Results: From 234 out of 1623 (14.4%) requests, the overall approval rate was 60.2% including: 2 amyloidosis, 6 HPS, 111 T2 HCC and 22 non-regulated situations. Of the 111 patients with T2 HCC, 6 died (5.4%), 8 had tumour progression (7.2%), 94 were transplanted (84.2%) and 3 are still waiting. An explants correlation showed that presumed diagnosis of T2HCC was incorrect in 20/94 (22%) and was correct in only 41/94 (43%) cases being T1 HCC in 9 and T3 HCC in 23. Conclusions: MELD exceptions are frequently requested in Argentina. Unfortunately, most receiving priority points for T2 HCC benefited by medical error or imaging limitations. An intense review process is urgently needed to maintain equity and justice in the allocation system.
- cirrhosis < liver
- hepatocellular carcinoma < liver
- indications < transplant
- quality of life < transplant