Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Center for Liver Disease & Transplantation

Getting on the List

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is responsible for the distribution of all transplant organs in the United States. The organization receives data from hospitals and medical centers throughout the country regarding patients who need organ transplants. Your medical team will send this data to UNOS and update them as your condition changes.

About Your MELD Score

Before your treatment for liver disease begins, your physician will calculate your model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score, which measures the severity of your condition. If it turns out that you need a liver transplant, the MELD score will play an important role in determining how long you may wait for a donor organ. The higher your MELD score, the higher your position on the organ waiting list.

For more details about MELD scores, please visit the Your Meld Score page.

About Extended Criteria Donors

When your medical team goes through the paperwork to have you placed on the UNOS list, you’ll be asked whether you’d be willing to consider an extended criteria donor organ. These are organs that don’t meet the traditional acceptance criteria, but that may be safe for you.

For example, transplant patients who have hepatitis B may choose to receive a transplant from a donor with evidence of hepatitis B infection. Many people are willing to accept whatever risks are involved if it means receiving a donor liver sooner.