Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Center for Liver Disease & Transplantation

Your MELD Score

Your model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score measures the severity of your condition and plays 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 will be.

MELD is a numerical scale used for adult liver transplant candidates, ranging from 6 (less ill) to 40 (gravely ill). This number is calculated using several laboratory tests to determine how urgently a patient needs a liver transplant within the next three months.

Your MELD evaluation will include tests for:
Bilirubin, which measures how effectively the liver excretes bile
INR (formally known as the prothrombin time), which measures the liver’s ability to make blood clotting factors
Creatinine, which measures kidney function (impaired kidney function is often associated with severe liver disease)

The resulting score will place you at one of four levels of severity:

  1. 25 or over
  2. 24-19
  3. 18-11
  4. 10 or under

The average MELD score for liver transplant patients who are on the list is around 20. The average MELD score when a patient receives a transplant is higher, in the low 30s.

Your physician will determine how frequently you need to be evaluated, which may cause your MELD score to go up or down and change your position on the organ waiting list.

To find out more about the Methodist Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation, call us at 713-441-8839 or 866-94-LIVER (866-945-4837) or send us an email.